Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has insisted he is keeping his options open when it comes to his team selection ahead of the Manchester derby on Sunday.
Players such as Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao have had to watch on from the substitute’s bench in recent weeks as Man United strengthened their grip on the top four with five straight wins.
However, Van Gaal maintained he has not frozen any players out and admits he’s been very impressed by how well they are doing in training.
When asked about his team selection, van Gaal said: ”Never change a winning team’ is an English expression but I always have my eyes open.
“It’s also an obligation to the substitutes that you have to compare players. You have to see also the quality of your opponent and you make a decision with the staff I have.
“Not only Angel [is pushing for a place], but every player who is training in the first squad are pushing because they want to do their utmost.
“I played 11 vs 11 today and the team in white was very good – the white team was not the basic line-up, so they are pushing always and I like that. I said that to all of them, that I like the fighting spirit of every one of them.”
It is true that Mata, Young, Herrera and Fellaini are going through the best patches of form in their United careers but it remains to be seen whether they can keep up their performance levels over the course of several seasons.
Meanwhile, Di Maria has proven that he can consistently produce at a high level having spent four years at Real Madrid. He is a world-class player and it is unlikely that he will be out of the team for long.