Louis van Gaal called on Manchester United fans to show their ‘belief’ in him – despite seeing his side end a woeful week with defeat at Bournemouth.
United crashed out of the Champions League in midweek and a wretched week was completed when goals from Junior Stanislas and Josh King – either side of Marouane Fellaini’s equaliser – saw them slip to a 2-1 defeat at Bournemouth.
After the match, a frustrated Van Gaal told Sky Sports: “Two set-plays cost us. That is not normal for us because we give a lot of attention to organisation. They had a few variations and did it very well but still it cannot be.”
Van Gaal, whose tactics have come in for some serious criticism this season, felt his side would go on to win at half-time with the scores level at the break.
He added: “We played rather well in the first half and I had the feeling we could win in the second half but then a set play and you are behind in the score and it is very difficult to have a revival.
“The players had done everything but Bournemouth pressed on the ball in a fantastic way which made it difficult to get the equaliser or create chances.
“At half-time I spoke about how we had to do it in the second half. I don’t talk about the past. I don’t think it is of any benefit for me and the players. A rare error.”
On Bournemouth’s second goal, he continued: “You can never tell. You have to speak with all the players. You see that there is existing a gap. you have to sniff that and we didn’t and it was a goal.”
“The attitude of the players I liked but that is not the only important thing. You have to perform in a certain way. I was pleased with what I saw in the first half.
“It is always very disappointing when you are at the top of the table when you lose to a club at the bottom of the table.
“We showed the character. I said that to the players because I liked the attitude. The commitment is very high and that is the most important thing.”
Van Gaal on United future
Van Gaal knows he’ll face even more questions over his future after the defeat and added: “It is always like that. It is not new it is a matter of belief. Believe in the manager or not. That is the most important thing.
“Last year the fans all showed their belief and that is the most important thing. For me the most important thing is the commitment of my players to perform as we have agreed and I can only tell they want to do that.”
Van Gaal refused to blame injuries on the defeat and concluded: “Paddy McNair had cramp, he didn’t play so much this season and with Jesse Lingard it is a second time in a short time so we will have to see.
“I have to say that Cameron Borthwick-Jackson did very well. I don’t think it is because of that [injuries] we lost.”