Louis van Gaal admits he is “concerned” by Manchester United’s recent results but insists the team must “stick together” to recover quickly.
An injury-ravaged United were beaten 2-1 by AFC Bournemouth on Saturday to compound a miserable seven days in which they drew 0-0 with West Ham and exited the Champions League following defeat to Wolfsburg.
Van Gaal accepts he faces a challenge to restore confidence in his players ahead of next week’s clash with Norwich City at Old Trafford but has vowed to ensure his side do recover.
“We have to make a revival this week. That’s always very difficult because you have lost two in a row. That’s not happening much for Manchester United,” he said.
“Of course I’m concerned because we have lost two matches in a row, and that is not usual. So we have to stick together and prepare our match against Norwich, and we have to win, otherwise it is more difficult. It’s already very difficult because my players are very disappointed, they have done everything but they have lost.
“We’ll do our job, but it is more difficult to prepare a game against Norwich when you have lost twice in a row.
“Hard work, training, preparation, focus [are key]. All the same things I’ve done in 25 years of management. Only now it’s more difficult. I’ll challenge the players and we shall come back.”
Joshua King scored Bournemouth’s winner against his old side and Van Gaal admits the striker posed problems for United throughout the encounter.
“In the first half we dominated, in the second we didn’t any more. It was an equal game, they scored out of set-plays but defensively we had a big problem with King all the time,” he said.
United lost both Jesse Lingard and Paddy McNair to injuries but left Ashley Young among the substitutes, instead opting to introduce Andreas Pereira and Phil Jones as replacements.
Van Gaal revealed Young felt discomfort during Friday’s training session, adding greater concerns to what is already a significant injury list.
“I have given, in a situation of this match, my preference to Memphis Depay, or Jesse Lingard, or [Cameron] Borthwick-Jackson or [Guillermo] Varela. And yesterday in training he had a feeling he was not fit enough,” Van Gaal added.