Man United boss explains absence of Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata

Louis van Gaal explains why he left out Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata on Friday night

Louis van Gaal insisted that he has no regrets about leaving Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata out of his squad for Manchester United’s goalless draw with Cambridge United on Friday night.

The visitors were frustrated by the League Two outfit in the FA Cup fourth-round tie as Van Gaal deployed a starting line-up worth £180m.

Captain Rooney and Mata were both notable absentees for the Red Devils, who will host Cambridge at Old Trafford in a replay.

But Van Gaal revealed after the game that Rooney and Mata were simply left out to give them a breather – and the pair will therefore both be fit for United’s next game.

“I gave Wayne a rest,” said Van Gaal, speaking at his post-match news conference.

“He’s fit to play, as is Juan Mata. I don’t regret leaving them out of the team.”

United’s next game is a Premier League clash with Leicester City at Old Trafford on 31 January.

Van Gaal’s side are currently fourth in the table and 12 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea after 22 games.

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