Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has warned returning trio Wayne Rooney, Marouane Fellaini and Anthony Martial that they have to prove their fitness on the training ground to have a chance to make the starting XI for the game against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League on Wednesday (25 November). The Dutch manager has made it clear that his skipper will not be an automatic choice to start upfront against the Eredivisie side.
The England international forward was ill and missed the Red Devils' last gasp win over Watford over the weekend, but is fit enough to return to the squad as they look to consolidate the top spot in Group B. Martial also missed the game against the Hornets after picking up a foot injury during France's clash against England at Wembley on 17 November, but Fellaini is returning from an injury he picked up ahead of the international break, which saw him miss Belgium's friendly with Italy and the Premier League game at Vicarage Road.
Van Gaal has indicated that, apart from fitness, his team selection will also be based on the game-plan devised for the game against the Dutch outfit. The trio, however, are not the only players warned about their roles in the team, as Memphis Depay, who was praised for his performance against Watford, which included the opening goal, has also been warned regarding his place in the starting XI.
The Dutchman, who made his first start for United against Watford since the 3-0 drubbing by Arsenal on 8 October, will be keen to face his former club, but the manager has made it clear that just one good performance will not be enough to retain a spot in the starting XI.
"That is not automatic. It is always a decision of the manager. I compare, I compare always players with each other and I take into account that how fit they are and how fit they show in the training sessions," Van Gaal said in his pre-match press conference, as quoted by the Mirror.
"That's why Marouane Fellaini, Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney have to show it on the training ground. Then I have to compare players with who are the best players to fit in with our game-plan. That is the same procedure with every match. Fitness is the most important thing. He has to show his fitness."
"I am a coach that always demands, not only one match, but several [good] matches. But what I have said is that it is always the same procedure. I compare players and the ones I think are best in our game-plan, they shall play," the Dutch manager added.