Louis van Gaal has urged Manchester United fans to understand that his side cannot always play attacking football.The club’s supporters voiced their frustrations during United’s victory over Sunderland on Saturday, chanting “attack, attack, attack” at one point after Jonny Evans passed the ball back to goalkeeper David De Gea following an attacking corner.
But while Van Gaal understands the fans’ concerns, he has also defended his players for their decision making and insists that playing backwards may, at times, be the only option.
He told reporters: “That, at that moment, was the solution for the player. Sometimes, in spite of there being another solution, the player has not seen that solution.
“You have to give benefit of your doubt to your player and you have to support him. When you make a mistake in defence it is more or less always a goal against us. You have to see that also, the fans have to see that.
“But I agree with the fans that we don’t have to use so much the goalkeeper because I have seen also moments where we can play a higher tempo without interfering with the goalkeeper. But the goalkeeper is also the 11th player for us.
“He can accelerate our game also and sometimes the solution is, via De Gea, to play forward. Of course it is more the English style of playing a match [to attack], but I think the fans have also enjoyed Manchester playing a position game, so it is always a mix of both.”
United face Newcastle on Wednesday looking to build momentum as they aim to finish in the top four and Van Gaal wants to see his side cut out any individual errors.
“What I think we can improve still is our unnecessary ball losses,” he added. “When we can avoid too much ball losses unnecessarily then we make a big step. Every player is at a different height of pressure and every player has to manage that pressure.
“You cannot generally say that it is a nervous team because maybe six or seven