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Manchester United Boss Erik ten Hag Admits He Had No Choice But To Start Jonny Evans

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Jonny Evans was given the start by Erik ten Hag for Manchester United’s trip to Burnley.

Since his return to Old Trafford during the summer transfer window, where his initial stint ended in 2015, Evans is making his first start. Ten Hag gave him a one-year deal, but many just saw him as an alternative in an emergency.

But now that Lisandro Martinez is out due to injury, Ten Hag has chosen to use Jonny Evans. The Northern Irishman’s final Premier League start occurred in May, when Leicester was relegated, and Ten Hag has maintained that he was forced to start the player.

“Martinez is injured, another one. He had an issue in the spring but he’s suffered another one. We have to do it with the player available to us, that’s ultimately it,” he told TNT Sports.

“Just be together, focus on the right things. Don’t get distracted, focus on the way of playing, the rules, the principles. Follow the game plan, stick together. Help each other, communication, it’s about all of those things.

“It’s about doing their job – we’ve conceded a lot and we are totally aware of it. The players have to do their jobs so match the runs, go with them. Don’t gamble in an early moment.

“I’m responsible for those mistakes. I’m responsible for the players doing their jobs and if they’re not doing that, it’s on me. When we’re defending as 11, it’s difficult to beat us but when people don’t do their job properly, we struggle.

“Every team struggles in that way, us as well. It’s only about today, we know we have to win. I’m aware of it, the players are aware of it. Focus on the game, focus on the process and the three points will be there.”

Evans has already made an appearance for United this year, joining the team late in the defeat to Arsenal that occurred just before the most recent international break. However, Martinez and Victor Lindelof, who have been at the center of a defense that has given up seven goals in their last two games, were healthy enough to return after that period.

The Red Devils’ humiliating loss to Brighton last week featured three of those goals, and on Wednesday, Bayern Munich defeated them 4-3 in the Champions League. At Turf Moor, Lindelof will team up with Evans at the back, with Diogo Dalot playing right defender and summer loan addition Sergio Reguilon playing left defender.

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