herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Van Gaal bemused by injury crisis at Old Trafford

LOUIS van Gaal is facing up to an ongoing personnel crisis with no fewer than nine men down as he prepares for Everton's visit to Old Trafford.

With Wayne Rooney ruled out by suspension, Van Gaal is also dealing with eight injury victims.

"We have eight injuries and one red card so nine players are not available. It's difficult to explain. You can be fit but not match-fit - that's a big difference," he said.

"For example, Ander Herrera is fit but he cannot play because of his rib pressure. Marouane Fellaini has trained for one week but is not fit to play 90 minutes."

"We still have three central defenders injured so Paddy McNair shall play," said the Dutchman.

"He is the only player who can play in the right-sided defensive position.

"I chose him last week and he was very good. It's difficult for a player like him to maintain that level - that is his biggest challenge."

Van Gaal admits he admires Everton's style of play and the Manchester United manager will get the chance to watch it closely when the two sides meet in the Premier League at Old Trafford tomorrow.

Criticised

Under the stewardship of former Everton boss David Moyes, who was criticised by the Old Trafford faithful for adopting the methods he used while in charge at Goodison Park, United lost twice to Roberto Martinez's side last season.

Van Gaal admitted he is a fan of the passing philosophy instilled by Martinez at Everton and the Dutchman hopes to adopt a similar approach during his time in charge of United.

"I have to say that I like Everton because they want to play football like I want to play football," Van Gaal said.

"It shall be a very interesting game. I know we lost to them twice last season so it will be difficult.

"I hope we can dominate the game but they will want to do that too.

"They are more likely to play on the counter than us. That's also the difficulty."

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