Louis van Gaal has hit out at the “negative” press and told disgruntled Manchester United fans to be “happy” with their recent form.
The Red Devils manager was speaking ahead of the Premier League clash against Newcastle, but he refused to be drawn on recent comments made by United legend Paul Scholes, who described his former team as “boring” following their last-gasp 1-0 win against Sheffield United.
“What do I do now? React to Paul Scholes? You want that?” he asked the assembled press.
“They [the fans] are thinking that we could not score, and maybe because of the traffic they decide to leave a few minutes earlier.
“There are many reasons to leave the stadium. When I was looking at matches to analyse our opponents, then I would leave the stadium five minutes before.
“You never know the reason. You can be very negative, but we are in the next round, won two matches out of a very bad period.
“You have to be happy as a Manchester United fan that we have won two matches in a row and we are in the next round.”
The under-pressure Dutchman also acknowledged the Man United fans’ frustration when they ironically cheered their side’s first meaningful attack in the 65th minute against Sheffield United on Saturday evening.
“I can understand that, because it was an effect that we were not shooting too much and not able to shoot at goal too much,” Van Gaal sympathised.
“That they were ironic, I can imagine.”
No opposition obsession
Van Gaal then strongly defended how he prepares his team for each game and was quick to stress that his primary focus is improving his side’s fortunes in front of goal.
When asked if he was more concerned with the opposition than his own team, he insisted: “No. I am not more concerned. “It is part of the job. You have to know what they want and how they play. Then you can help your players.
“I am more thinking how we have to attack and improve. Because we are defending very well, you are asking this question. Attack is more creative and intuition than defending.”
Wary of Newcastle threat
The Red Devils are on the hunt for back-to-back victories in the Premier League – a feat they have not achieved since November – and although Van Gaal believes Newcastle are performing well, he once again cited their very recent form as a reason to be upbeat about the game.
“We have won two times in a row and maybe it shall give us a boost. You never know,” he said.
“But now we are playing away, it’s also different and Newcastle United is playing very well I think. Ok, I see their game against Arsenal and they played very well.
“But they didn’t win and that’s the most important thing in football. I don’t hope that they win against us. We have to beat them.”