• Premier League

Blind tells Manchester United team-mates to train harder

ESPN staff
January 14, 2015
Manchester United's defence needs to improve

--> Daley Blind has told Manchester United players who are struggling to get in the most expensive side in Premier League history they need to impress more in training.

Blind made his comeback after six weeks out with a knee injury in Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Southampton.

Blind, who was a £14 million addition from Ajax, began the match in a line-up that cost United around £270m. Radamel Falcao was not even named on the bench as manager Louis van Gaal now has more choices with his injured players are returning to fitness.

The 24-year-old said: "The prices in the team are expensive and the manager has said that as well so you have to train, every day, very hard to show yourself and show that you really want to play.

"We are one team, we have to do it with each other, whichever 11 the coach chooses. We are supporting each other and it feels like a really great team."

Blind had been expected to spend longer on the sidelines when United incorrectly announced on Twitter that he was out for six months.

"It could have been worse but I tried to feel positive and work hard every day to come back stronger. I hope to start now," added Blind, who was grateful for the messages he received.

"It's nice that so many people were supporting this club and not only from this club, but from my club before and in Holland," Blind said. "I had a lot of support, it's a great feeling, it pushes you every day to work just that little bit harder when you are injured and on your own."

Manager Van Gaal had planned to substitute Blind on his comeback but, with Robin van Persie sustaining an ankle injury, he played the whole game.

"It was a bit heavy in the end but I think I felt pretty good after 90 minutes," he added.

Van Gaal often prefers to use returning players in the Under-21 team before bringing them into the senior side, but Blind was parachuted back into the first 11.

"I'm a fit player - maybe that's why," he laughed. "I'm conditioned most of the time, always OK, so it should not be a problem to play 90 minutes. I showed them in training that I had worked hard and that I'd be fit for the game. It's up to the manager what his choices are, but he put me in the starting 11 and I'm really happy with that."

While United have had a series of injuries this season, Blind said his knee problem was a freak accident, rather than anything the club could have controlled.

He explained: "It was disappointing, but it was an injury I can't really do something about it. Somebody fell on my knee and it's not something with a muscle or from tiredness, so it was really unlucky, an unlucky moment. Apart from this injury I'm really fit during my career so I hope it stays that way."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close