Van Gaal says McNair will recover from early St Mary's substitution

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Southampton 1-2 Man United: Saints were better - Louis van Gaal

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says Paddy McNair will recover from his early substitution in Monday's Premier League win over Southampton.

The United manager said he was forced to bring off the Northern Irish youngster, 19, after 38 minutes because "he played without confidence".

"He gave already three chances away," added van Gaal.

"But he shall survive. It's only one moment in a lifetime. One match, nothing more."

Van Gaal said that the substitution had been disappointing for McNair "and also for me and for the team" but that he was left with no alternative after McNair's early struggles at St Mary's.

"As a manager I'm responsible to win and after the change we played a little bit better," added the United boss.

The match also saw another Northern Ireland international Jonny Evans making his return to action after more than two months out as he came on as an 18th-minute substitute for injured Chris Smalling.

Evans, out since September by an ankle injury, was pleased by his involvement as he made his first appearance since the 5-3 defeat by Leicester.

"You're always expecting maybe someone to get injured so I tried to prepare myself mentally but the first 10 minutes were hard, but you expect that in the premier league. Especially away games," Evans said.

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