Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has hailed his team spirit in the visit to Watford after Troy Deeney's late own goal gave them a 2-1 victory on Saturday (21 November). The Dutch boss also expressed his frustration after revealing that Ander Herrera and Phil Jones sustained injuries during the game, while James Wilson couldn't play due to a problem in his knee.
Memphis Depay gave the lead to United earlier in the first-half of the game following a cross from Herrera. Watford, however, looked ready to earn a point in the last minutes of the game when Deeney scored a penalty in the 87th minute. But the local captain went from hero to villain as he turned Bastian Schweinsteiger's effort into his own net in the injury time.
"I was amazed at the spirit in our team. We had the late penalty [against us] but, as a team, we created another three possibilities in five minutes after that. Before the goal from Schweiny [Bastian Schweinsteiger], Chris Smalling had a fantastic shot at goal and [Heurelho] Gomes saved it fantastically. When you can do that as a team, then I am very proud of that team," the boss said.
The joy, however, was not completed for the Dutch manager as he was forced to replaced both Herrera and Jones for Marcos Rojo and Phil McNair respectively during the game due to injuries. Van Gaal confirmed the bad news in the press conference after revealing that the duo are expected to miss the next Champions League game against PSV, joining to the concerns of all Wayne Rooney (ill), Anthony Martial, Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and long-term injured stars Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw.
"We are in a lousy period with a lot of injuries," van Gaal said. "Also in the international break. Antonio Valencia had been operated on and Luke Shaw you know, and now Jones and Herrera, I think, are not available for Wednesday."
"My first impression is that they are not too heavy, but the problem is that we have to play Wednesday already. Jones had a twisted ankle and Herrera a hamstring injury. Rooney is ill, and that is a matter of days, not weeks. I expect that he shall play Wednesday, but you never know, I do not know the development of the illness. Today he is at home, we gave him a day off to heal the illness; tomorrow he comes and I can say more. Martial is another problem, his foot, it is not as heavy as the media have written, but we have to wait and see if he can play Wednesday."
The manager, meanwhile, revealed that Wilson missed the game after picking a knock before the trip to Vicarage Road, with 18-year-old Marcus Rashford taking his place on the bench.
"Wilson had a swollen knee after training," the boss added. "I did not play [Marcos] Rojo also because when you have jet lag you cannot play. Wilson did not play for six weeks, so you cannot play in the Premier League without match rhythm; you have seen with Memphis that in the second half he was less [effective]. I had Rashford on the bench, a fantastic talent, but Wilson has more experience in the league."