Man Utd without David de Gea for Midtjylland second leg
By Allan Valente
Last Updated: 25/02/16 8:15am
Louis van Gaal says Manchester United will be without goalkeeper David de Gea for Thursday's Europa League second leg clash at home to FC Midtjylland.
The Spaniard injured his knee in the warm-up for the first leg tie at the MCH Arena and was missing again as United beat Shrewsbury in the FA Cup on Monday.
The Danish champions hold a 2-1 advantage going into the game at Old Trafford on Thursday after upsetting United in Herning last week and the goalkeeper will not be available as Van Gaal's side aim to turn the tie around.
When asked whether De Gea would return for the second leg, Van Gaal said: "I was hoping for that but he shall not be involved, that is certain."
The United boss also said his players must rise above any criticism they receive. While his team got back to winning ways against Shrewsbury on Monday night, Van Gaal and his players came in for scrutiny following the result in Denmark.
However, the Dutchman says the side must rise above that and denied United should be beating the likes of Midtjylland more easily.
"There's a lot of criticism, so it can influence [the players] but they have to use their tools to ignore it," he said. "I think Midtjylland has a very good organisation, very detailed and the players want to perform for that organisation.
"They play with diagonal pressing. I do that also with my team. Not many teams are doing that. And when I see the data of Midtjylland they have always won against English opponents.
"I was not a great player, as you know, but when I played for full stadiums, I was always at my best. So it is not a good signal for Manchester United. I think most of their players shall be excited and for them it is the biggest game of their lives, especially at Old Trafford and not at home."
In better news for United, the manager revealed Marcus Rojo will start the Europa League clash on the bench, while Antonio Valencia also returned to training on Wednesday although the Midtjylland match will come too soon for him.