Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said the decision to omit striker Radamel Falcao from his squad for the
Falcao, who started the previous five matches, watched the 1-0 Premier League loss from the stands at Old Trafford.
“You have to look at the needs of your selection at the time,” said Van Gaal, who said he wanted substitute cover for Luke Shaw and Angel Di Maria.
“We have a lot of players who are coming back.”
until the end of the season but has scored only three goals since signing in September.
Young striker James Wilson was preferred on the bench against Southampton for a defeat which means Van Gaal has now collected the same number of points after 21 Premier League matches as predecessor David Moyes did during his time in charge.
Asked about that statistic, Van Gaal said: “You have been waiting for the moment to tell me I have the same points as David Moyes.”
United failed to register a shot on target as their 10-game unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an end thanks to Dusan Tadic’s 69th-minute goal after Graziano Pelle’s effort rebounded off the post.
Juan Mata missed two chances for United as they slipped to a first home defeat since the opening day of the season, a result that saw Ronald Koeman’s side replace them in third in the table.
“We played a much better game than Southampton,” said Dutchman Van Gaal. “They were lucky to score out of nothing.
“They came for a draw, I believe, and they go away with a victory. That is disappointing.
“It is a bad result – we have to be better. We were the dominating team but you have to create more chances when you are the dominating team.
“We didn’t choose the right solutions in the third and fourth phase.”