Manchester United squad will be rotated, van Gaal confirms

Source: @ManUtd
Source: @ManUtd /

Speaking to the press the day before Manchester United’s Champions League return leg against Club Brugge, Louis Van Gaal addressed a number of questions with many unanswered situations currently ongoing at the club.

The Dutchman was asked about a few prominent players from last season who have yet to truly get a run-out in the playing eleven with Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo in particular barely featuring for the Reds this season.

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With the latter yet to play a competitive minute of first-team football for United due to complaints about his match fitness, Van Gaal stated the need for players to play in the reserve team – in order to get back the sharpness – before they play in the senior side. This comes as no surprise to the Old Trafford faithful, who were used to seeing first team stars such as Michael Carrick and Jonny Evans playing reserve matches last season in order to build up fitness.

The same occurred with Robin van Persie when the striker was forced out of action for six weeks with an ankle injury and when asked on the situation, the United boss remained firm on his stance.

"“The only way is to play matches in the second team as that is the first step to coming back,” he said as reported by"

Regarding Rojo and several others, Van Gaal informed the media that the Argentine would take part in a friendly against the Ajax reserve team on Thursday before he could be considered for first team selection.

"“Eight players have to play against the Ajax second team on Thursday as they need to play. Rojo shall play for 60 minutes.”"

The former Netherlands manager was also in a buoyant mood to reminisce about his Champions League winning youthful Ajax side, in a way hinting to the press about the importance of youth in his squads. With question marks over United’s squad depth, Van Gaal was quick to point out the impact his former side made with a team filled with youngsters, something he could attempt to do this year with Adnan Januzaj, Jesse Lingard and more.

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"“We played the first match vs AC Milan and they were the defending champions. Then we played with players like Seedorf, 16, Kluivert, 18 and Kanu, 18.”"

Van Gaal was in the mood in Belgium and the 64 year-old also highlighted the importance of self-belief and confidence in the dressing room and the vital role it plays in upsetting even the most talented sides in football. By further emphasising on his track record of success despite the apparent squad deficiencies on paper, the United manager attempted to reassure fans who’ve been incensed by United’s lack of movement in the transfer market in bolstering key areas of the squad.

"“We beat Milan two times away from home. From that time we believed that we could win. We played Bayern in the semi-final. Fortunately it was not the best final when we played in it, but we won 1-0. The goalscorer, Kluivert, was 18-years-old.”"

It will be interesting to see if there is an influx of squad players into the United playing eleven in Belgium tomorrow in what should be a comfortable fixture for the Reds, with the fans clamouring for more attacking play by the Old Trafford outfit, the only question is will the hugely successful Dutchman be able to deliver?

United take on Brugge tomorrow night with Maourane Fellaini set to play after Van Gaal confirmed his change of position.

A win see the Red Devils enter the group stages as second seeds – meaning they could face Barcelona or Bayern Munich in the group stages.

Next: Brugge tie is Man United's biggest - Van Gaal