Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has said he believes in smaller squads, but admits he is “one player short”.
The Dutch manager was blighted with injury problems at the start of last season – a fact he has blamed himself for.
Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Luke Shaw, Rafael, Michael Carrick and Angel di Maria all suffered injury problems throughout the season and Carrick even had to fill in at centre-back for part of the season.
“That was my fault,” said Van Gaal, who put his players through punishing double training sessions on their tour of the United States shortly after he took over.
“I was training them harder but they were not used to training like that. I am convinced you have to train, now they are used to that step.
“I also let players go because of that and I buy new players.
“I think they are more used to my training sessions. You can see that with the new players. You can see which players are always injured.
“In my career I never had injuries like that. I have always preferred small selections (squads). I think I have the smallest selection in the Premier League.”
When asked whether he thought his squad was too small, Van Gaal added: “No, it is not otherwise I would have had a bigger squad. I believe in smaller squads because you need perspective otherwise the motivation is a doubt.
“Last season we had 24 players. We sold 15 players and bought five. This year we sold again and sent on loan 10 players and only six players we bought.
“I think 22 players and three goalkeepers is enough so I am still one short.”
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