Van Persie ‘unhappy’ after being benched by Fener

Matthew Stead

Robin van Persie says he is “not very happy” after having to come off the bench to rescue Fenerbahce in their latest league game.

Van Persie, who joined the Turkish side from Manchester United in the summer, scored the winner against Bursaspor after coming on as a substitute in the 77th minute with the scores level.

The Dutchman scored within three minutes of his introduction, leaving Fenerbahce on 13 points from their opening five games. However, the 32-year-old openly criticised manager Vitor Pereira’s decision not to start him.

“To be honest, I am not very happy at this moment,” he told Lig TV.

“I was not happy that I started on the bench. I am fully fit, physically very well and able to play for 90 minutes.

“The only right answer I could give was with what I did: helping the team to get the victory.”

Pereira subsequently defended his decision, saying: “I would play more players if we were allowed to play 22 or 25 players.

“The players can like or not like what I do, but I must take decisions. I am happy with Van Persie’s performance after being brought on to the pitch.

“It would be bad if he wasn’t unhappy about being a substitute. This proves that he wants to play.”