Belfast Telegraph

Louis Van Gaal not blind to idea of shuffling his Man United pack

Louis van Gaal will have to field a makeshift defence against Sunderland tomorrow after confirming Marcos Rojo will not be fit for the match at Old Trafford.

Manchester United defender Rojo sat out Wednesday's Capital One Cup win over Ipswich because of a hamstring injury.

With Paddy McNair also injured, Van Gaal was forced to play Ashley Young at left-back against Ipswich and the midfielder may play there again at the weekend.

When asked whether Rojo would be fit enough to return for the visit of Dick Advocaat's side, the United boss said: "No. The left-footed players, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo, are injured, so I have a problem."

Another option Van Gaal has is switching Matteo Darmian to left-back and bringing Antonio Valencia into the team on the opposite side of defence.

Daley Blind can also fill in at left-back, but Van Gaal is wedded to the idea of fielding a left-footed player at centre-back, so he will stay there this weekend despite the fact Phil Jones is now fit following his thrombosis problem.

"I have changed every player except a left-footed player so Daley Blind has played all the minutes (this season)," Van Gaal said.

"(Chris) Smalling had also played all the minutes and because of that I substituted him (against Ipswich) and brought Jones in.

"We have to spare players and Smalling and (Juan) Mata have played all the minutes, but I cannot spare Blind because all the left-footed players are injured."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph