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Published: 09:32 | 5/3/16

Blind needs a rest, admits van Gaal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal admits "very tired" Daley Blind needs a rest but has to play on because of the club's injury crisis.

With 13 of his team-mates out of action through injury, the Dutchman has played in the last 27 matches as a full-back, centre-back and central midfielder.

Van Gaal acknowledges the 25-year-old needs a break soon, and is hopeful he will be able to give his £14m signing from Ajax a break when Argentine defender Marcos Rojo returns from a shoulder injury.

"I have to rotate him because he is very tired," he said.

"When (Marcos) Rojo is fit again I can rotate him so I hope we can sustain this.

"But I give him a lot of time free from the training sessions. I recover him more than other players because I have to."

Van Gaal says Blind has proved his versatility since joining United in the summer of 2014, deputising for Chris Smalling, Rojo and Phil Jones at centre-back, Luke Shaw at left-back, and Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick in midfield this season.

“When we bought him I told Ed Woodward the positions he can play. He has proved that,” added Van Gaal.

“He has played in the midfield and left full-back but I think the best position is left central defender because I ask in our play, build up qualities of the central defenders.”

Speaking ahead of Sunday's Premier League match against West Brom at the Hawthorns, van Gaal also confirmed that Fellaini, Antonio Valencia and Jones are almost ready to return following injury.

"Lots of players are coming back but they must be fit to play, which is different," he said.

"We have to let the players who are coming back play in the second team.

"Schweinsteiger is coming back in March.

"Fellaini, Valencia and Jones are coming back, but if I don't have to take a risk, then I won't."

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