Thursday, March 23, 2017

Jones, Herrera injuries a ´big problem´ for Van Gaal

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Nov 2015

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed Phil Jones and Ander Herrera are likely to miss the Champions League match against PSV on Wednesday after suffering injuries away to Watford.

United’s dramatic 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road on Saturday came at a cost, with Herrera having to be replaced due to a hamstring injury in the first half and Jones suffering a twisted ankle which led to his substitution after the break.

Van Gaal is expecting Wayne Rooney to recover from illness in time to play the Dutch champions at Old Trafford and has not ruled out picking Anthony Martial, who sustained a minor knock in France’s friendly against England last week, but was frustrated to have another two problems to deal with.

“We are going through a lousy period with injuries,” he said after the match.

“Martial and [Michael] Carrick came back from the international break with injuries, Rooney was ill and we had already injuries – [Antonio] Valencia has been operated on and has a long time away and [Luke] Shaw you know.

“So now we have a big problem. Jones and Herrera are not available, I think, for Wednesday. 

“The first impression is not that they are heavy injuries but we have to play already on Wednesday and that is the problem. Jones has a twisted ankle and Herrera maybe a hamstring injury.

“I think Rooney is ill and illness is a matter of days, not weeks so I do expect that he shall play Wednesday. But you never know – I don’t know the development of the illness. 

“He is at home, he is not at the club. We gave him a day off to heal the illness. Tomorrow he comes and then I can say more.

“Martial is a foot problem. It is not so heavy as all the media has written but you never know, we have to wait and see if he can play Wednesday.

“I knew we had a balanced selection in our squad and every position was double occupied, but it is only that now the striker’s position was not occupied because Rooney, Martial and then on the last day [James] Wilson was injured. So I had to change the system.”

Van Gaal explained Wilson would not have started the Watford match even if he had not gone down with a knee injury in training, but the manager would have liked to have had the youngster as an option from the bench.

“It was Wilson’s knee in a training session and that is why he could not play. 

“He would not have played because he has not played for six weeks and you cannot start in the Premier League when you do not have match rhythm. 

“So I had Marcus Rashford on the bench. He is a fantastic talent, but Wilson is a player who already has more experience in the Premier League.”

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