Aug 14, 2014

    Van Gaal to fans: Don't expect too much


    LOUIS van Gaal feels he will need far longer to turn Manchester United's fortunes around despite completing the pre-season with six wins out of six.

    United rounded off their schedule of pre-season fixtures with a 2-1 win over Valencia on Tuesday, giving the Dutchman, who took over after leading the Netherlands to third place at the World Cup last month, victory in his first match as Red Devils boss at Old Trafford.

    However, van Gaal believes Tuesday's win, secured with an injury-time goal from substitute Marouane Fellaini, was the worst performance yet as United get to grips with his ideas.

    "We made a lot of wrong choices, wrong passes and we didn't press too much," he said. "But in spite of that, we dominated the game - only in 15 minutes in the second half we were not dominating. At the end, we are the winner because we are fighting until the last minute and that is also a good signal."

    He warned fans not to expect too much early in his United reign, with the club looking to bounce back after finishing a lowly seventh in the Premier League last season, with David Moyes sacked as manager before seeing out his first season in charge.

    "You can't change everything in three or four weeks and the players can't change either," van Gaal said.

    "We have to wait and see and develop and we need time, but we have won every game till now and that's fantastic when you see our opponents."

    United now face Swansea in their Premier League opener at home on Saturday but van Gaal is unsure whether Jonny Evans, Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia, who sat out Tuesday's match through injury, will be available.

    With those three sidelined, the Dutchman had Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Tyler Blackett at centre-back, with Ashley Young and Reece James playing as wing-backs, and Michael Keane the only defender on the bench against Spain's Valencia.

    Left-back Shaw and midfielder Ander Herrera have been the only new signings so far this pre-season, although United are widely reported to have made a £16 million (S$34 million) offer for Sporting Lisbon's 24-year-old Argentina centre-back Marcos Rojo.