Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy’s place in the Dutch World Cup squad is safe, according to coach Marco van Basten.

The 29-year-old Van Nistelrooy has found himself relegated to the bench recently, with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson preferring Frenchman Louis Saha to partner Wayne Rooney.

“I made clear to him (Van Nistelrooy) that he should not worry about his spot in the Dutch squad,” Van Basten told Voetbal International.

Ferguson has confirmed that Van Nistelrooy will return to the starting line-up for United’s match with West Ham on Wednesday night.

“It has not been easy for Ruud sitting on the bench but…it has been impossible to leave Louis Saha out since the Carling Cup final, given his tremendous scoring form,” Ferguson said in the match programme for Wednesday’s game.

“Playing three strikers is possible in some games…but not always because it can leave the wrong balance.

“The one thing that’s certain is that all three will play their part and help us maintain the momentum.”

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