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Van Persie still up for the World cup despite groin injury

05 Jun 2014 06:01:58

Van Persie still up for the World cup despite groin injury

Robin van Persie dismissed talk of a World Cup fitness scare after suffering a groin problem in Holland's international friendly win over Wales in Amsterdam.

The Manchester United striker was withdrawn as a precaution at half-time as Holland won 2-0 in their final match before the tournament in Brazil.

The 30-year-old had appeared in some discomfort walking down the tunnel at the interval, but he denied he had suffered another setback.

With goals in Holland's last two friendlies, Van Persie had been making encouraging progress in his recovery from the knee injury which ruled him out for six weeks late last season.

Van Persie said: "I wouldn't call it an injury, I came off as a precaution.

"It built up during the came so decided it was sensible to come off."

Manager Louis van Gaal was similarly unconcerned.

Van Gaal, who will be Van Persie's club manager at Old Trafford next season, said: "He has a little injury and I think it is better that you don't risk a bigger injury playing the second half.

"I think he made the right decision. It is not an important match. You don't have to risk it."

Asked if Van Persie should be fit for Holland's World Cup opener against Spain in Salvador on June 13, Van Gaal said: "I hope so, and I think it is so."

Holland won the match comfortably enough with goals from Arjen Robben and Jeremain Lens, but Wales did frustrate them for large spells.

Much had been made of the absence of star Welsh names such as Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey but Chris Coleman's under-strength side gave a good account of themselves.

Van Gaal said: "I had expected that they would play with 10 men behind the ball. It is always difficult to score then, and they did it very well.

"When they had the ball they made the pitch very big so we could not press the ball. That is why it was good for us we played this match."

Coleman was pleased with the performance of his side, in what was their final outing before the start of Euro 2016 qualifying in September.

Wales created few clear-cut chances but, well led by Liverpool's Joe Allen, they had good spells of possession and showed sharp movement.

Manager Coleman said: "I don't think we could have done much more as a group. I thought our lads really put the effort in.

"We were up against a very good international outfit, outstanding players and an extremely good manager with a lot of experience.

"I think our lads really showed a lot of courage and were brave.

"When you are playing against a team like that, you can't stop every attack. They are good enough to open you up. They have got quality players.

"But we stayed strong and I am glad we gave them a test. It was a test for them before they go to the World Cup."


PA

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