Louis van Gaal plays down Robin van Persie injury fears

Robin van Persie of the Netherlands celebrates with head coach Louis van Gaal of the Netherlands after scoring the teams first goal in the first half during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Spain and Netherlands at Arena Fonte Nova on
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Louis van Gaal says that Robin van Persie was substituted for "tactical" reasons against Mexico on Sunday.

Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal has moved to allay suggestions that Robin van Persie has picked up an injury at the World Cup.

The Dutch striker was replaced by Klaas Jan Huntelaar with 15 minutes left of the weekend's clash against Mexico, despite the fact that his side trailed 1-0 at the time.

However, rather than having concerns over his fitness, Van Gaal has insisted that Van Persie, who will be managed by the 62-year-old at Manchester United next season, was substituted for "tactical" reasons.

"The substitution of Van Persie was tactical. Let's not forget that before he joined the squad he was recovering from an injury. It's difficult for him to keep up 90 minutes especially in these [hot] conditions," he told reporters.

"Anyway, this trainer wants to win. So he makes the changes and the substitutions he needs. It's simple. Nothing else matters."

The Dutch went on to win the contest 2-1 thanks to late goals from Wesley Sneijder and Huntelaar.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of the Netherlands celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Netherlands and Mexico at Castelao on June 29, 2014
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