Man Utd: Louis Van Gaal does not regret leaving out Radamel Falcao
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says he was right not to select Radamel Falcao for the defeat by Southampton.
The striker, 28, did not even make the bench for the 1-0 loss at Old Trafford on Sunday, with 19-year-old James Wilson chosen ahead of him.
Van Gaal says he wanted cover in defence and out wide, explaining there was no place for a "second striker".
Asked whether he regretted leaving out Falcao, who earns £265,000 a week in wages, Van Gaal replied: "No."
The defeat dropped United down to fourth in the Premier League table, two points below Southampton, who are now third.
Colombia international Falcao, who had started the previous five matches, joined United on loan from Monaco in the summer, following prolific spells at Monaco, Atletico Madrid and Porto.
His career at Old Trafford has been hampered by injuries and, in 12 appearances for United, he has scored three times.
|Falcao at Manchester United|
|Goals: 3||Total shots: 17|
|Appearances: 13||Shot conversion rate: 17.7%|
|Minutes played: 604||Assists: 3|
|Minutes per goal: 201.3||Chances created: 10|
United, who paid £6m to sign him on loan from Monaco, have an option to buy him for £43.5m at the end of the season.
Explaining his decision to leave out Falcao, Van Gaal said: "You have to look at the needs of your selection at the time."
The 63-year-old Dutchman said Falcao was left out so cover could be provided for other players, such as Luke Shaw and Angel Di Maria, who had only just returned to fitness after injury.
Both Shaw and Di Maria were replaced in the second half, along with striker Robin van Persie, who was injured.
Wilson, who has two goals in 12 appearances for United after making his debut at the end of last season, was an unused substitute.
"As a coach, you have to take decisions and you have to look at the composition of your team and your selection and you have to look at your game plan," added Van Gaal.
The defeat by Southampton means Van Gaal has now collected the same number of points after 21 league matches as predecessor David Moyes had at the same point.
Asked about that statistic, Van Gaal responded: "You have been waiting for the moment to tell me I have the same points as David Moyes."
|Louis Van Gaal v David Moyes after 21 games|
United failed to register a shot on target against Southampton as their 10-game unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an end.
Dusan Tadic scored the winner in the 69th minute after Graziano Pelle's effort rebounded off the post.
"We played a much better game than Southampton," said Dutchman Van Gaal. "They were lucky to score out of nothing. They came for a draw, I believe, and they go away with a victory. That is disappointing.
"It is a bad result. We have to be better. We were the dominating team but you have to create more chances when you are the dominating team.
"We didn't choose the right solutions in the third and fourth phase."