Daley Blind: 'I'm clever enough to play in central role for Man United'
Dutch ace blasts back at criticism
Manchester United's Daley Blind has hit back at those questioning the decision to play him at centre-back, insisting he is "clever enough and smart enough" for the position.
Blind, seen more regularly in midfield or at left-back in his first campaign with United last term, was used as a central defender in the Red Devils' 2015-16 Premier League opener against Tottenham on Saturday.
There has been plenty of debate about his suitability for the role.
And after helping his side to a 1-0 victory in the game at Old Trafford, the 25-year-old Holland international said: "I've said many times before that I just want to play.
"If you see what everyone can add to the team, then it's a real battle for places and everyone had to fight for a position.
"I got a chance on this occasion and I tried my best. Of course, people always say I don't have the height or the power but I think I'm clever enough and smart enough.
"I think we did well at the back, together with Chris (Smalling), Luke (Shaw) and Matteo (Darmian), and we got a clean sheet so I was happy."
Meanwhile, Louis van Gaal has admitted Memphis Depay has still got to prove he can play in United's 'Number 10' role.
And the United manager hasn't ruled out switching the 21-year-old to his more familiar role on the left. Memphis started all four of the pre-season tour games in a role behind lone striker Wayne Rooney.
And they were paired together again for the opening game of the season against Tottenham on Saturday. They were both involved in the move that ended with Kyle Walker putting through his own net. But they struggled to create much else before Memphis was replaced with Ander Herrera after 68 minutes.
Van Gaal said: "It is a new position for him and he has to adapt to the new position because he is a goalscoring type.
"But we have to wait and see if he can fulfil the demands of this position but that's also because Ashley Young is playing very good on the left side.
"Therefore that is the circumstances now but it can change during the season. He can play in this position. Memphis has speed. He didn't show that too much (against Tottenham) but he has to learn that also that when he has to go and when he doesn't have to go."