Manchester: Manchester United will have to make do without nine of their regular players going into today’s English Premier League match at Bournemouth.
Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal. Pic/Getty Images
While eight players are out injured, Bastian Schweinsteiger was suspended for three matches for violent conduct following an elbow on Winston Reid in United’s 0-0 draw against West Ham last weekend.
The German played poorly at the Volkswagen Arena in the Champions League, where they lost 2-3, but his absence will be felt strongly as United have a crippling injury list that contains players like skipper Wayne Rooney and Ander Herrera.
Morgan Schneiderlin returns for today’s game at Bournemouth after overcoming a hip injury, but Rooney (ankle), Marcos Rojo (shoulder), Phil Jones (ankle), Ander Herrera (hamstring), Luke Shaw (leg) and Antonio Valencia (foot) remain out.
Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling are also unavailable after suffering hamstring and groin injuries respectively at Wolfsburg.
"It is not so good," coach Louis van Gaal said when asked about the fitness of his squad. "We have eight injured players because Darmian and also Smalling we can add to this list, and Schweinsteiger is also suspended, so it’s nine players who are not able to play. Schneiderlin is coming back, that’s not a problem, but we have a list of eight players injured and Rojo has been operated on this week and it takes a long time. These injuries are very heavy — Shaw and Valencia have also been operated on and that’s our problem."
The Dutchman spent a considerable amount of time of his press conferecne yesterday defending himself after the club’s embarrassing exit from the Champions League.
Paul Scholes labelled United 'average' while his former teammate Rio Ferdinand said dropping into the Europa League was 'an embarrassment'.
Weight of expectations
But when asked if he doubted his ability to win trophies with United, Van Gaal said, "No. I don’t have any doubts."
The United manager admitted his players were struggling to deal with the expectations on their shoulders, however.
He said, "You can lose and you can win in sport, and you have to accept that, as a player and as a manager, but you have to work very hard and I am working very hard and my players are working very hard and doing everything we can do. The problem is that we have to meet the expectations and the expectations at a club like Manchester United are very high, and that's our problem."