Manchester United were missing a number of players going into their fifth round FA Cup clash against Shrewsbury Town on Monday (22 February), which they won 3-0 to book a place in the quarter-finals where they will face West Ham United. The Red Devils have 13 players currently in the treatment room but there is no shortage of backing for the first team from the injured stars.
The 20-times English champions' injured quartet of Wayne Rooney, Matteo Darmian, Ashley Young and Bastian Schweinsteiger egged on the team before and after the game, which was crucial with respect to their recent form and pressure on manager Louis van Gaal. They were coming into this game on the back of a disappointing loss to FC Midtjylland in the first-leg of the last 32 Europa League clash, which increased pressure on the Dutchman, who has been tipped to be replaced by Jose Mourinho at the end of the current campaign.
The former two are recent casualties in United's ever-growing list of injured players, with the England international possibly facing a lengthy spell out with a knee injury, while the Italian suffered a dislocated shoulder during their recent loss against Sunderland. The latter two, however, have been out since the beginning of the year, with the former Bayern Munich midfielder expected to return at the end of the month, while Young is expected to be out at least until the end of March.
The 31-year-old forward admitted that he was gutted to miss the clash, while his German counterpart congratulated the Red Devils on progressing to the next round. Van Gaal, who was satisfied following a much-needed win, is confident that United are still challenging on three fronts and, while suggesting a place in the top four is still possible, he is keen to win the Europa League to book a place directly in the group stages of the Champions League next season.
"Love the FA Cup and gutted to be missing the game tonight. Good luck to the lads who are traveling to Shrewsbury," Rooney wrote on his official Instagram page ahead of their fifth round FA Cup showdown with the League One side.
"Well done! Congrats on reaching the next round of the FA Cup," Schweinsteiger commented following their 3-0 win, on his official Twitter account.