Antonio Valencia says Manchester United struggles are due to injuries

Antonio Valencia
Image: Antonio Valencia is targeting the top four

Antonio Valencia believes Manchester United's struggles this season are down to the sheer volume of injuries Louis van Gaal has had to cope with.

The Ecuador international has endured another frustrating season with injuries, having just made his comeback from a foot injury that has kept him out of action since the end of October.

In his absence, United have struggled and sit sixth in the table, with pressure mounting on Louis van Gaal to at least steer the club back into the top four.

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Valencia is not the only member of the United playing staff to have suffered injury setbacks this campaign, with Bastian Schweinsteiger the latest to be ruled out.

And with so many key players frequenting the treatment room, Valencia believes anyone would have struggled with so few fit players.

"It has affected the way the manager has had to work," Valencia told Sky Sports News HQ. "Your hands are tied. If you have a squad of 20 players, and ten are injured, then you are having to work with half a squad.

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"It is not just short term injuries either. You look at Luke Shaw, myself, Wayne Rooney, we have been out for a long period.

"The bad form that we have had in that time has to be down to the amount of injuries that we have had.

"That is bound to affect performances, but now we are getting people back, we need to focus and really fight for the place in the Champions League.

Marcus Rashford opens the scoring for Manchester United at the Etihad
Image: Marcus Rashford opens the scoring for Manchester United at the Etihad

"It is also down to the Premier League, it is tough league. One week you can play very well, and then the next week you are up against a team you are expected to beat, one that is fighting relegation, and they turn it on.

Valencia also admitted that this frustration does not just stop with his lack of playing time, but seeing United struggle has also been hard to take.

"Both mine and the team's seasons have been disappointing. I have been down and sad about being out of action for five months, and a lot has happened in that time.

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"Under Sir Alex Ferguson we were used to winning trophies year after year, so it does hurt to see others doing it now, but we have to accept that this profession that we work in is like that, there are ups and downs.

"Every new season is like a new dream, and we will be fighting to do much better for the fans next season.

"We have got to be looking to win every game to make sure we are in the Champions League next season, and I believe we have the players in the squad, and an excellent manager to be able to make that happen."

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