Erik ten Hag confirms major Man Utd fitness scare ahead of Nottingham Forest clash

  • Man Utd take on Forest in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday
  • Casemiro fit to play after head injury against Fulham
  • Bruno Fernandes & Raphael Varane doubtful for cup game

Fernandes is an injury doubt
Fernandes is an injury doubt / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Erik ten Hag has ruled centre-back Harry Maguire out of Wednesday's FA Cup clash with Nottingham Forest, admitting both Bruno Fernandes and Raphael Varane are doubtful for the game as well.

Ten Hag finds himself back under pressure after a crushing 2-1 defeat to Fulham in the first game since Sir Jim Ratcliffe's takeover was formalised, and the boss needs a positive response when his side travel to face Forest in midweek.

Already without Rasmus Hojlund, Luke Shaw, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Mason Mount and Anthony Martial, Ten Hag added Maguire's name to the list of absentees and admitted there will need to be late fitness tests for some more big names.

"We have some question marks in our squad," Ten Hag said. "Harry Maguire will not be available. Bruno is doubtful. Also Rapha Varane is doubtful.

"We have to watch and see what we will have and then pick a team, with the aim of course [of winning]."

Fernandes has not been ruled out of a game through injury since he joined United in January 2020, missing just one match due to illness in March 2022.

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There was some positive news for fans, however, as Ten Hag confirmed midfielder Casemiro has shaken off the head injury which forced him off the field against Fulham.

"So it was bleeding, so he had to come off," the boss explained. "It was not to our advantage that he couldn't continue the game. But he's available for tomorrow."

On the importance of Wednesday's game, Ten Hag added: “It's an FA Cup game, so it's about win or lose.

"Black or white, ee have to win and that should be our approach. We have to show [character]. I know we can be at our best in the moment, where we are in such a moment in adversity, and we are staying together."