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Moyes surprised by Van Persie outing

ESPN staff
March 7, 2014 « Mourinho: Chelsea lead not realistic | Chartbeat test »
Robin van Persie played 90 minutes for the Netherlands against France © Getty Images
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Manchester United boss David Moyes has admitted his surprise at seeing Robin van Persie play 90 minutes for the Netherlands on Wednesday when he had spent the previous day laid low in bed through illness.

Van Persie played the whole of the Netherlands' 2-0 friendly defeat to France in Paris, and Moyes - who was present at the match to run the rule over Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann - was taken aback by Louis van Gaal's decision to keep the striker on the pitch at the Stade de France.

"Robin was in his bed all day Tuesday being sick but he felt better on Wednesday and he played,'' Moyes said. "I was a little bit surprised he played 90 minutes in a game they were losing 2-0 but he did do.''

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Moyes said the striker is now "fine"' and in contention for a place in United's team to face West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

Three days after scoring in the 2-0 win over Crystal Place, Van Persie gave an interview to Dutch broadcaster NOS following United's 2-0 Champions League defeat to Olympiakos.

Van Persie's claim that some of his teammates were "often playing in my zones'' was interpreted as an attack on the other United squad members who were on the pitch during a morale-draining night in Athens.

Speculation followed that Van Persie was unhappy at the club, but the fact that he was willing to travel back with Moyes from France suggests the striker's relationship with his manager is at least a cordial one.

Indeed, Moyes was annoyed at how Van Persie's quotes were interpreted, as well as speculation regarding the player's future in general.

"I actually travelled back after the [France v Netherlands] game, with Robin and Pat[rice] Evra,'' Moyes continued. "If you actually read the whole transcript I think it was taken out of context... we understand fully.

"Robin is a really good player and we will do everything possible to make those opportunities work for Robin. A lot of what has been said [about Van Persie] isn't correct.''

Moyes' predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson bought Van Persie from Arsenal in the summer of 2012 and his goals fired United to the title last term.

This season Van Persie has scored 14 goals, but United's overall form has been so poor that they are seventh in the Premier League with just 11 matches of the campaign remaining.

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