'I’m doing great, thank you', says Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal

Dutchman insists players understand his philosophy but still must improve

 Louis van Gaal:  “I have confidence in myself and my players but much more important is the players have confidence in the manager.” Photograph: EPA

Louis van Gaal: “I have confidence in myself and my players but much more important is the players have confidence in the manager.” Photograph: EPA

 

Louis van Gaal believes he is doing “great” as Manchester United manager and his players understand his philosophy, but he still says they must perform better.

The manager’s self-stated three-month period for when he and the squad could be judged passed on Wednesday with United in fourth on 11 points.

Van Gaal, who said he has only four of the team injured – Jesse Lingard, Antonio Valencia, Jonny Evans and Paddy McNair – was asked how he might assess his start as United’s No 1.

“Yeah, I’m doing always great so that’s a very easy question. Thank you for that,” he said.

While the Dutchman may have spoken in a light-humoured way, he stated there was no other way to answer the next question on whether he thought United are heading in the right direction under him.

“Yes. How do I have to respond? When I respond then I’m arrogant. Normally I’m always moving in the right direction. Am I moving in the right direction? No? I have confidence in myself and my players but much more important is the players have confidence in the manager. It’s tough. I’m not doing that alone. I’m doing it with the staff and the players.”

‘Wait and see’

On whether he can be judged after three months, Van Gaal said: “I hope so. We have to wait and see. I think they [players] do understand the philosophy but they have to perform that and we have to see if it is going at higher level. I think we need more balance in the team. I said that after the match against Everton [which United won 2-1]. I am looking for balance in the team, not only spectacular attacking football but, when you lose the ball that you have a shape as a team, you can defend more easily and that you can kill the game better.

“That is also part of the philosophy. But because I’m always choosing more creative, attacking football players so we are looking for that balance.”

Of his injury list, which had been as high as 10 players, the manager said: “We have only four players injured now.”

While Van Gaal indicated that Phil Jones, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young and Chris Smalling are back in full training, they may not be able to start against West Bromwich Albion on Monday evening. Ander Herrera, who still has a rib injury, “could play in a corset”, Van Gaal told MUTV.

Not easy opponents

Van Gaal hopes to record a third consecutive league win for a first time this term. But he warned West Brom will not be easy opponents. “How do you say that phrase? You can lose in this sport. Only Chelsea didn’t lose. West Bromwich Albion are difficult to beat, also at home. They play not only long balls but can play a possession game so it’s not easy to beat. There’s no club in the Premier League that is easy to beat. That’s the difference from other leagues.” 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.