Louis van Gaal to raid under-21s for defensive cover

‘As a manager you know in advance it’s a big challenge . . . but you don’t know in advance the difficult moments’

  Tyler Blackett (right) is suspended ahead of West Ham game.  Photograph:   Clive Rose/Getty Images

Tyler Blackett (right) is suspended ahead of West Ham game. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images

 

Louis van Gaal has admitted Manchester United’s plight is the hardest moment of a glittering managerial career. United have only five points from five Premier League games and have won only once, with their last outing the 5-3 defeat at Leicester City where they conceded four unanswered second half goals in 21 minutes.

Van Gaal has nine players injured and a further one unavailable in Tyler Blackett who is suspended. He has a crisis at centre-back because Chris Smalling is injured along with Phil Jones and Jonny Evans. And as Blackett is also unavailable as a left-sided player in the position, Van Gaal confirmed he will have to turn to the under-21 squad for replacements for the home game against West Ham on Saturday.

“As a manager you know in advance it’s a big challenge and the club is in a transition but you don’t know in advance the difficult moments,” he said.

Van Gaal shrugged off any idea there was panic at the club, saying that United just have to accept their situation. Of the injuries he said: “I have to admit I’m never in this situation before so that’s strange.

“For me it’s difficult to understand because we are evaluating what we can do in a different way but you have to train on a certain level. We have a lot of injuries, nine injuries now, and Blackett suspended. So that means that 10 are off so I have to go to the youth team to pick players.

“The younger players can pick their chances now and that’s also the policy of this club. I have read that differently in the media but it’s like that. They are always ready. They have hunger to play. Manchester United’s youth education has a certain level that can provide that.”

Van Gaal remains confident United can finish third. “When you are 3-1 ahead after 60 minutes you have to win. Then we are two points off second in the table. Because of the loss we are sitting here and you are talking like that and questioning me like that. But if we had won this game it was a different story. We (can) overcome and the season lasts more than one day.”

Of the injuries to Evans and Smalling he added: “Evans is a very difficult thing. His bone is bruised a lot and we have to wait and see and evaluate, but I don’t take risks.”

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.