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Van Gaal explains Van Persie substitution against Cambridge

by Sam Peoples

Louis van Gaal has downplayed the possibility of Robin van Persie being injured and confirmed he intends to use the Dutchman this weekend against West Ham.

Van Persie was substituted and went straight off tunnel, much like he was against Southampton in January, leading to fears he may have been taken off as an injury precaution.

However, his withdrawal was merely a planned substitution rather than anything forced upon Van Gaal.

“I said already [to Robin] at half-time, ‘I shall change after 60-70 minutes because I want you to play against West Ham United.” Van Gaal explained.

“It’s always difficult to play three matches in a week. I have given rest to five players. I think that when we have won, after the match I can say it was a very good decision. I gave van Persie a rest during the match and also Di Maria, and I gave Ashley Young minutes to play because he is back again.”

Given his injury troubles this season, a fresh setback is the last thing Van Persie would have wanted but he’ll be disappointed with his performance against Cambridge.

Just like the in the first fixture, Van Persie missed gilt edged opportunities to score and it’s something Van Gaal mentioned after the full time whistle.

He added: “In the second half, I think we played better,” the manager added. “We created many more chances but we didn’t score. Robin van Persie had four possibilities to score, but [on the whole] I am pleased.”

With Van Persie in line to play against West Ham this weekend, Wayne Rooney could find himself back in a midfield position to accommodate Radamel Falcao alongside Van Persie.

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