UNITED KINGDOM, January 12 – Louis van Gaal has admitted his side have bored even him at times this season but insists Manchester United “cannot always play fantastic football”.
Van Gaal’s tactics have once again come in for criticism from former players such as Paul Scholes after United laboured to a 1-0 win at home to Sheffield United in the FA Cup third round on Saturday evening.
They have scored just seven goals in their last 10 games at Old Trafford, and notched just two first-half goals at home all season, but Van Gaal insists you have to be “happy” as a United fan after two successive victories.
He said: “There are matches that I have enjoyed and there are also matches where I’m very bored or angry because we are not disorganising our opponent’s defence.
“But that is football. Do you know that my primary concern is defence? I am not concerned about defending more than attacking. At this moment we have a lack of creativity and you can see that, but they have played well in the past, so they can do it.
“You have to be happy as a Manchester United fan that we are in the next round and we have won the last two games. The fans have to know that we can’t always play fantastic football.
“And that was also the case in former days. I’m sorry, but it is like that.”
Van Gaal has also been criticised for not leaving his seat on the United bench and issuing instructions from the technical area. He is one of the only Premier League managers not to do so.
But he defended his philosophy and said: “I’m not Sir Alex [Ferguson], as you know. Everybody is different and I don’t believe in yelling from the sidelines.
“With the Cup match also a lot of Sheffield United supporters were yelling so it’s not so easy to make yourself understood.
“I believe in communication during the week, during the preparation and I believe in my players, who have to perform.
“It’s very difficult because of the noise. A lot of managers are yelling from the sidelines but I doubt if they have real influence.”