Louis van Gaal has urged disgruntled Manchester United fans to direct their frustrations at him rather than the players, adding that supporters must understand the difficulties of breaking teams down.
Sections of the home support voiced their displeasure at United’s lack of attacking play as the hosts eventually claimed a 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday thanks to Wayne Rooney’s late header.
It ended a run of three goalless draws, including a League Cup exit on penalties to Middlesbrough, but Van Gaal called on the fans to be more supportive.
“Yes I think supporters have to support the players or they make it difficult for the players to play at Old Trafford,” he said.
“Up to now they have been fantastic so I can’t complain at the fans. I can only advise the fans to criticise the manager and not players. It’s very difficult to play for Manchester Utd with a lot of pressure.
“And when you can taste it in Old Trafford because of all the yelling, it’s not good for my players.
“Then it’s better to whistle the manager, I can cope with it. I have a lot experience.”
Rooney’s header ended his run or four games without a goal in all competitions, also putting him joint second in the club’s all-time scorers alongside Denis Law.
Having toiled in front of goal for much of the win at Old Trafford, Van Gaal added: “I think we have attacked for 85 of the 90 minutes so we have given a lot of entertainment and it’s depending on when the goals come that [determines whether] everyone is happy.
“When you analyse games, you know it is difficult to disorganise a team defending with 10 people behind ball. You have to take that into account always. Analyse the game.
“Because then we have more difficulties and they are counting on counter-attacks always and also they have players in who are fast and so on. But nevertheless, CSKA tried this tactic and they only created one chance.
“So I’m very happy with our defensive organisation and very happy with the way we attacked because in the end we won a difficult game against a difficult team.”