Louis van Gaal says Manchester United ‘dream of victory’ in Sunday’s derby

Dutch manager says Robin van Persie and Luke Shaw are not match fit

“I am always confident, because I always believe in my team in our game-plan,” says Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal ahead of the Manchester Derby. Photograph: Reuters.

“I am always confident, because I always believe in my team in our game-plan,” says Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal ahead of the Manchester Derby. Photograph: Reuters.

 

Louis van Gaal says he and his Manchester United players “dream of victory” over Manchester City in Sunday’s 169th derby, with the Dutch manager stating victory can help the club exceed the pre-season goal of fourth position.

United are currently third on 62 points, a place and a point better than City going into this weekend’s clash at Old Trafford.

Please fans

“You go through that process to win against your next opponent,” Van Gaal added. “Of course, you want to win. It is a big step in the table also. When you win, third place is reachable, and a month ago nobody was thinking about that, besides me, of course. That is good because then you are certainly in the Champions League and then we do it better than the goal we had in the pre-season.”

United have won their past five league games while City have lost three of their previous five. Does this momentum give Van Gaal confidence ahead of Sunday’s encounter? “I am always confident, because I always believe in my team in our game-plan,” the Dutchman said. “There are not many differences [between the sides] because I know that also a match between teams of the same city is always very special. In spite that Man City lost several games in the last few [matches] I don’t think that shall have a big influence.

“It is a special game and we have to show it and they do also. That is also when you have lost. We have lost against Arsenal in the FA Cup, it was also very disappointing for us, but nevertheless we continued our form in the Premier League. ”

United have lost the previous four derbies although Van Gaal has only been in charge for the most recent of those defeats. “It is not my story,” he said. “What can I say?

We have lost 1-0 [in november] that is my history, the last game. We had already a red card in the 40th minute [Chris Smalling]. It was a special game. I say always in such games, always, you have to control your aggression. We did not do that at that time. So I hope we have learned from that moment.”

Van Gaal added that he could countenance losing twice to City as this would not represent the “failure” of being beaten home and away by Swansea City this season. “I am always saying it is very bad of Man United to lose against Swansea twice. In my opinion, you can lose to Manchester City two times. That is possible. As Man United you cannot lose two times to Swansea. That is a bigger failure than when we lose against Manchester City twice.”

Of the squad’s injury situation, Van Gaal said: “Most of the players are fit. But fit for me is a different situation. So I don’t think every player is fit – Robin van Persie is not fit enough to play. I don’t think Shaw is fit enough to play. But I cannot say they are not fit, but in my opinion they are not fit to play.” Guardian service

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.