“We recently played a match against Burnley which the fans don’t know about. But I was disappointed with the performance of these specific players. I don’t know whats wrong with them because they are getting worse as each day passes by.”- Five senior players featured for Man Utd in embarrassing behind-closed-doors friendly defeat faces Manchester United Exit as they gave Erik ten Hag mo choice.

Five senior Manchester United first-team players featured in a surprise friendly defeat on Wednesday.United played a behind-closed-doors friendly against Burnley at their Carrington training centre but were downed 3-1 by Vincent Kompany’s side.It’s the second time this season that the Premier League strugglers have beaten United in a friendly; they won 3-0 at Carrington back in August.Burnley are currently 19th in the league table, five points from safety having won just 12 points from 21 games.

United fans might be concerned that Erik ten Hag’s side lost by such a convincing margin, especially given that five first-team regulars featured.According to The Athletic, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro and Antony all played between 45 to 60 minutes in the behind-closed-doors match, with the Brazilian winger scoring United’s goal from the penalty spotAmad Diallo also featured, despite reports that he could leave the club on loan this month after recovering from a knee injury he suffered last summer.

Despite the alarming result, United supporters can take comfort from the fact that the main point of the friendly was to help build the fitness of those returning from injury.

Maguire had not played since suffering a groin issue against Bayern Munich on December 12, while Shaw last featured on December 23 after already missing three months of the campaign through injury.Martinez was sidelined for four months with a foot issue, and used Wednesday’s game as a chance to build fitness after he returned to action against Tottenham earlier this month.

Casemiro was on the bench that day so gained valuable minutes against Burnley.Ten Hag has come under intense scrutiny for the struggles of his side this season, but the impact the sheer number and frequency of injuries to key players he’s had to cope with should not be underestimated.Following Wednesday’s defeat, United will return to competitive action on Sunday when they travel to Wales to face League Two Newport County in the fourth round of the FA Cup

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