Manager not tearing hair out over Fellaini

LONDON • Marouane Fellaini's suspension for today's trip to struggling Norwich City has added to Louis van Gaal's problems as the Manchester United manager looks for a Champions League place.

Fellaini was charged with violent conduct for elbowing Robert Huth during last Sunday's 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. The three-match ban means he will miss all of United's remaining Premier League fixtures, although he could return for the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace on May 22.

Van Gaal said: "We have to assess the (players') tiredness because there's an overload of matches, so maybe I have to rotate. Every week you have something that you don't like, but I think we can manage."

United have won six out of eight matches since being knocked out of the Europa League at the quarter-final stage by Liverpool and victory in their final three league matches may just be enough to snatch fourth place.

But there is little room for error, as United are four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, but they do have a game in hand and third-placed Arsenal could do them a huge favour by winning at Eastlands tomorrow.

Norwich are 19th, two points adrift of safety.

While Newcastle United and Sunderland - the other contenders to avoid the two remaining relegation places - picked up points last weekend, Alex Neil's side suffered a third successive loss.

With three games remaining, Norwich need a lift, but centre-back Russell Martin remains confident they can survive.

"Newcastle have got two games left. For Sunderland, it's a big ask to win all three of their games," he said. "So we win against Manchester United on Saturday before they have both played and we go back above them both. It puts the pressure back on them and we'll still have a game in hand over Newcastle - just like Sunderland."

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NORWICH V MANCHESTER UNITED
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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2016, with the headline 'Manager not tearing hair out over Fellaini'. Print Edition | Subscribe