Select Manchester United players reportedly asked for a day off following their matchup with Fulham on Saturday. The Red Devils thought they managed to grab a point in the game when Harry Maguire scored a leveling goal in the 89th minute of the match. Nevertheless, Fulham fought back and snatched a rare victory at Old Trafford through a strike by Alex Iwobi deep into added time.

According to The Guardian, several players wanted to have Sunday off to rest after the demoralizing loss. The request, however, was denied by manager Erik ten Hag’s staff. The report even claims that the assistants were surprised by the plea from the players. Under ten Hag, the club typically gets together for postgame analysis and a warm-down on the day following a match.

Players, manager previously blamed poor start on being overworked

It was previously revealed back in November that United players believed their slow start of the season was due to being overworked in preseason. Club officials scheduled eight summer friendlies in five different countries across the globe ahead of the current campaign.

At the time of the report, United sat sixth in the Premier League table. However, they previously found themselves down in 13th after a poor string of games at the beginning of the campaign.

Ten Hag even hinted at the notion of his players being overworked earlier in the season. The manager claimed that the winter World Cup in 2022 started a domino effect on fixture congestion.

“We had a World Cup in the middle of the season. We had to play a longer season as well, with FA Cup, then Nations League games. A shorter break,” ten Hag stated in September.

“Every time the schedule is expanding, the load on the players is too much. It’s such a great overload. Many colleagues of mine have pointed to that and I have pointed to that as well. But it keeps going. We keep expanding the schedule.

“Players can’t deal anymore with this overload and that’s what you see in this squad at the moment.”

Ten Hag has not made changes to routine despite growing injury list

Although ten Hag agreed that players are overworked, he does not seem to be altering his routine to accommodate them. As a result, injuries and losses continue to pile up at the club. Several key stars in the club have all dealt with various setbacks earlier in the current campaign. This includes Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw, Rafael Varane, Mason Mount, Casemiro and Christian Eriksen.

Star striker Rasmus Hojlund also recently picked up a muscle injury in training as well. The Dane has helped United move up the standings after scoring seven goals in as many games to start 2024. However, the forward missed the Fulham match due to the setback and will now miss a few weeks of action. Backup center forward Anthony Martial is also currently injured as well.

The most recent defeat means that United has now lost more Premier League games this season than their entire 2022/23 campaign. While other top clubs are dealing with a congested fixture list, United has so far failed to adapt.

The Red Devils will now quickly turn their attention to Nottingham Forest, as the two teams face off in an FA Cup matchup on Wednesday. United will then face rivals Manchester City four days later in a crucial Premier League fixture.