Louis Van Gaal urges Marouane Fellaini to keep focus

Reborn Belgian returns to former club Everton with Manchester United on Sunday

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has urged Marouane Fellaini to keep his focus on his return to Goodison Park on Sunday. Photograph: Epa

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has urged Marouane Fellaini to keep his focus on his return to Goodison Park on Sunday. Photograph: Epa

 

Louis van Gaal has spoken to Marouane Fellaini about maintaining his focus during Sunday’s return to his former club Everton.

Fellaini has emerged as a driving force in United’s campaign after being a peripheral figure under the former manager, David Moyes, last season.

Asked how he has helped improve Fellaini, Van Gaal said: “I am always communicating with my players about philosophy, about performance, about attitude, about behaviour and maybe one or two aspects more.

“But that is what I’m doing and not more than that. And when players believe in you they want to convince me because every player playing for Manchester United has qualities.

“So also I think Marouane Fellaini has qualities and we want to let dominate the qualities of Fellaini in the team and that’s what we are trying to do and I believe that we are doing that. And that’s why his performances are better just now.”

Van Gaal has no concern about Fellaini being targeted by Everton’s players. “I have spoken with Fellaini because I know this,” he said.

“Fellaini is always dry in his answers. He said: ‘It’s a game.’ ‘Yes, but it’s a special game for you.’ I hope the fans shall receive him like the Chelsea fans received Juan Mata because I like that very much. I hope it’s like that.”

Van Gaal refused to discuss if he has had any contact with PSV Eindhoven’s Memphis Depay. “I don’t discuss it with the media, you know my answer,” he said of the winger who played under him as Holland coach at last summer’s World Cup. “I have a lot of relationships with players. I cannot buy all the players I’ve coached already.”

Van Gaal also stated Robin van Persie faces a fight to regain his place following injury. “He has to train very hard and play in the second team and show his qualities again,” said the manager. “Then I have to compare him with the positions he can play with the players in that position. It’s always the same.”

Only Daley Blind of United’s injured players may be available for Everton. “All the players are still injured. Only Blind maybe, it’s a question mark, can reach the game against Everton. Jones, Carrick and Rojo cannot play against Everton,” said Van Gaal.

He said the right-back Rafael da Silva would be out for the rest of the season after breaking his ribs in an Under-21 match against Leicester this week.

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