Louis van Gaal has insisted that he does not regret the decision to rest some of his players for Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Norwich City on Saturday.
And Man United put in an abysmal display as Juan Mata’s second-half strike saw them scrape past the Canaries. Despite the performance, van Gaal insisted he made the right decision in resting his players.
“That’s always the case – that you cannot recreate your decisions,” van Gaal said.
“I think they needed that rest and also you have seen other players are needing a rest. But I cannot give everybody a rest and that is the problem. You have to make these decisions before the game and not after it.
“After the game, you can decide what you want but it’s not counting anymore. I thought Daley and Marcus needed a rest because they have played a lot of matches, nearly every match. Rashford is a youngster and he’s played the last 10 games so it’s not easy for him and he needs that rest. I wanted to give him this game off. It was already difficult before we lost Matteo Darmian and, before the match, Anthony Martial.”
Van Gaal may say that his players are tired but it was his job to build a squad with enough depth to rotate over the course of the campaign and he has failed in that respect.
United suffered from a worrying lack of cutting edge against Norwich and supporters will be keen to see Rashford, in particular, return to the side for the game against West Ham United on Tuesday.
It is disappointing that United are so reliant on Rashford, 18, and Anthony Martial, 20, who was injured during the warm-up against Norwich, but the inquest will be put on hold until they get past these final few games of the season.