Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed that Wayne Rooney is angry that he was substituted in the second half of United's match against Aston Villa yesterday (16 April). The Dutchman said he wanted to play the entire 90 minutes after coming back from injury.
Rooney's game yesterday was his first in a United shirt after picking up a knee injury against Sunderland on 13 February. He is set to be selected by Roy Hodgson for the European Championships scheduled in France.
The Red Devils came into the game on the back of a 2-1 win over West Ham United in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Van Gaal revealed that the midweek exertions had an effect on the tempo of the game, which meant he had to make changes. Marcus Rashford scored the only goal in the game, his second in back-to-back matches. Van Gaal revealed that Rashford was not playing as well as he expected him to in the second half.
Slow play problems
The 18-year-old was pulled off with 15 minutes left in the clock, but it was Rooney who was disappointed the most for not being able to play the entire game. The 30-year-old was substituted in the 67th minute, when it was all but clear that Villa were unlikely to pose a real threat in the United penalty box.
"I wanted to change him [Rashford] also. I have doubted for a long time because he has played the last 12 matches. But he was very positive, he was positive to play, he told me he was fit," Van Gaal said after the game, as quoted by Goal.
"The last 15 minutes is always very important, so I changed him. The same for Rooney because he has not played. He was angry with me because he wanted to play on, but he lost the ball more in the second half. He was good in the first.
"Because of that intense game [West Ham] I have changed five players so that has an influence. I was surprised that we could not lift ourselves because we played at too slow a tempo.
"I know it's not so easy when you have to play against a very defensive team. You have to play very quickly, and we have trained that way, but to play like that is very difficult. But we have three points and that is most important right now," he added.