Daley Blind understands Manchester United selection battle: ‘The places in the team are expensive’

'You have to train, every day, very hard to show yourself' says Daley Blind of Manchester United's packed squad and the inevitable omissions some players will see.

Daley Blind of Manchester United takes part in the warm-up before their Premier League loss to Southampton on Sunday. Clive Mason / Getty images / January 11, 2015
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Daley Blind knows he and his Manchester United teammates are going to have to battle hard for places in Louis van Gaal's side.

Utility man Blind on Sunday made his first appearance since sustaining a knee injury in November, playing the duration of United's 1-0 Premier League home loss to Southampton.

The 24-year-old Dutchman started eight games in succession prior to suffering the problem, but he has returned at a time when Man United’s previously extensive injury list has finally been reduced to almost nothing and competition for first-team spots is as fierce as it has been all season.

On-loan striker Radamel Falcao was notably left out of the squad altogether on Sunday, while the United players who did take to the field ultimately produced a poor performance.

And after manager Van Gaal stressed that the next game would be “another moment” in terms of selection, Blind said: “The places 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.”

The Netherlands international – who can operate in defence or midfield, and insists he does not mind which – was understandably delighted to be back in action on Sunday as well as disappointed by the result, which he feels it is vital fourth-placed United bounce back from in Saturday’s away trip to QPR.

“It was my first game in seven weeks I think, and it was a bit heavy in the end but I think I felt pretty good after 90 minutes,” Blind said.

“It’s good to be back, I’m only disappointed that it’s not with a win.

“We have to bounce back. We have to stand up as a team with each other and do the best we can in training, every day, and have a good week because we need a win at the weekend.”

Blind concedes it was hard spending time on the sidelines but has emphasised how much support he received from fans during the period – and how settled he is feeling at United in general.

“It’s a nice group and everybody’s really helping me every day and every week,” the £14 million (Dh78m) summer signing from Ajax said.

“It’s just like home; I feel good being here.

“It’s nice that so many people were supporting me and not only from this club, but from my club before and in Holland.

“I had a lot of support and 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. It’s nice.

“It was really unlucky, an unlucky moment (sustaining the injury).

“Apart from this injury I’ve been really fit during my career so I hope it stays that way.”

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