Van Persie calms fresh injury fears

The striker didn’t emerge for the second half of his side’s match with Wales because of an injury but he and Louis van Gaal insist it was merely a precaution

Robin van Persie has allayed fears of an injury after he was substituted at half-time in Netherlands’ 2-0 win over Wales on Wednesday night.

The striker appeared to be struggling towards the end of the first half of the meeting in Amsterdam and didn’t emerge for the second half having been replaced by Jeremain Lens.

Van Persie admitted after the game that he felt some pain in his groin but insists the replacement was merely a precaution and he will be fit to play in his side’s first World Cup game against Spain.

“You don’t have to worry. I have a little pain in my groin,” he told NOS.

“I don’t even call it an injury though. It was more of a precaution as the game next week is a lot more important.”

Coach Louis van Gaal reiterated Van Persie’s point before going on to discuss his tactics in the game, having started with a 4-4-2 against Wales despite playing with a 5-3-2 against Ghana.

The Oranje boss insists he will line up with a more attacking formation when they face Spain and Chile in the World Cup.

“It was a precaution with Van Persie, but he didn’t come off for no reason,” Van Gaal told SBS6. “I have many attackers in the team.

“I knew Wales would sit back, but I did not expect them to play so deep. I just have to say that we are in a process and we are preparing for better opponents.

“I could have played 4-3-3 from the first minute to make it more attractive. But I wanted to see the implementation of this system [4-4-2].

“Against Spain and Chile we will go back to the other system [5-3-2]. It sure looks that way. We will now focus on Spain, for which the 4-4-2 system is not possible.”

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