Van Gaal: To blame defeat on bus attack is an excuse
MANCHESTER United manager Louis van Gaal put on a brave face and refused to blame an attack on his team's bus for the serious setback to their Champions League hopes at West Ham United.
Tuesday's gripping 3-2 loss was preceded by the bus being pelted with cans and bottles outside the east London ground. The result leaves van Gaal's men needing to beat Bournemouth in their final match on Sunday and hope Manchester City lose at Swansea City if they are to creep into the Premier League's top four.
Van Gaal said blaming the bus attack for the defeat would have been an "excuse" but he conceded that it could have affected his younger players.
"I have a long experience in football and there are players who don't have the experience," said the 64-year-old Dutchman.
While United still have an FA Cup final date with Crystal Palace to come on May 21, missing out on a top-four place would represent a massive disappointment but van Gaal believes Swansea could give City a hard battle.
"It is a mental blow for the players but, against Bournemouth, we have to give everything so that we don't give Manchester City a free trip into the Champions League."
The Football Association announced an investigation after United's bus was targeted outside the ground, causing a 45-minute delay to the kick-off.
United goalkeeper David de Gea also appeared to have objects thrown at him during the game.