United boss Mark Robins has explained why Kevin van Veen was substituted during Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Preston North End.The Dutch forward, who moved to Glanford Park from FC Oss in the January transfer window and has already made five appearances for his new side, was withdrawn halfway through the contest at Deepdale to be replaced by Gary McSheffrey.
Robins told The Iron Player: “Kevin’s got to learn, and this was a tough game for him.
“I could have easily left him out, but because he’s done well it was an opportunity to keep him in the side and keep him learning. He’ll learn from it, as it was how not to perform.
“You’ve got to work and graft whatever happens, and you’ve got to create opportunities for yourself. We couldn’t hold of the ball to get up and get out so they ended up having more of the ball than we would have liked.
“In games like this you’ve got to try and control the ball and control the possession. We didn’t do that enough.”
One player not involved against the Lilywhites was Alex Davey, with the young defender missing out through injury.
Robins was caution about the prospect of the Chelsea loanee making a return for Tuesday’s home meeting with Barnsley, explaining: “He’s got a bit of a calf strain so hopefully we won’t be too long without him.
“I don’t think he’ll be ready, but he’s a young lad and his powers of recovery might be miraculous. We’ll have to wait and see.
“We’ve got to learn from this and move on quickly because we don’t have any choice with the game on Tuesday night.”