Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal has reacted to his side’s injury crisis by making some changes behind the scenes, reports claim.
Since taking over the United reigns in the summer, the former Dutch boss has suffered a horrendous number of injuries to his squad with the tally now up to nine.
Ahead of the Red Devil’s Premier League clash with West Ham, Van Gaal has been forced to include two youth-team defenders in his match-day squad as the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are ruled out.
In a bid to get to the bottom of it, the former Barcelona coach has decided to promote long-serving fitness guru Jos Van Dijk to first-team duties with former fitness coach Tony Strudwick assigned a new role, according to the Daily Mail.
“It has emerged that first team fitness expert Strudwick has been moved from his usual role to a job looking after the physical development of the club’s younger players. It is understood that Van Gaal’s long serving fitness guru Jos van Dijk is now in control of fitness planning and programming for the club’s elite stars.” The report states.
Strudwick was previously hired by former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson in 2007 as he made the move from Blackburn Rovers.
During his time at the club, the fitness levels of players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney jumped up a notch and Strudwick’s work has been recognised by the FA and England boss Roy Hodgson.
Van Gaal, however, has lamented his side’s fitness levels this season and has labelled the crisis the worst he has ever faced in football.
Changes were perhaps inevitable, and this crucial decision could be construed as yet another step for the United boss as he looks to stamp his authority on the club and take them into a new era.