Louis Van Gaal has admitted that Manchester United’s confidence has been smashed after their 2-1 defeat to Swansea over the weekend.
Goals from Ki-Sung-yeung and Gylfi Sigurdsson, which were separated by Wayne Rooney’s equaliser a few minutes into the second-half, gave Swansea their victory, and now Van Gaal has opened up about the defeat.
United went into the campaign having won five and drawn one of their pre-season matches, but now the Old Trafford faithful have quickly realised that it wasn’t just their former manager David Moyes who was responsible for the side’s shortcomings last season.
Van Gaal has now admitted: “It is very disappointing for the players, the fans, for me, my staff. When you have preparation time and you win everything [in pre-season] and then lose your first match, that cannot be worse.
The Dutch coach continued: “It is not good because we have built up a lot of confidence and it shall be smashed down because of this result. But we have to know it is only one game of many games and you shall not be the champion at this moment, you shall be the champion in May.”
He then added that he knows United need more signings to compete against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City over the the upcoming season.
“Of course we need defenders. It is also the question if we can play like a team and if we can reach the [right] level,” he explained, before he confessed that United didn’t come close to reaching their potential against Swansea. “Today, we didn’t reach that level. When you don’t play like a team, when you miss the chances, it is very difficult because every team shall create chances against us because we are playing with a big space behind us.”
Van Gaal then noted that the pressure of playing in their opening Premier League game of a new season had also had a negative effect on their side.
He declared: “I have said before that because of our wins in the United States and against Valencia the expectation is so high, and I have seen in the first half a lot of players very nervous, making the wrong choices, and that is a pity. These players have to get used to that expectation because this is Manchester United. You have to cope with that pressure.”
Van Gaal went on to state that he had also been upbeat to the team after their defeat, “I have said to them in the dressing room: ‘I cannot say you didn’t do your very best, unbelievable work, fantastic mentality, but reaching the level is difficult, not only running but using your brain and then you can play like a team.’ In that, we have failed today.”
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