Saturday, June 23, 2018

Van Gaal acknowledges fan fury after Southampton loss

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Jan 2016


Louis van Gaal believes the furious reaction that greeted the final whistle in the 1-0 Premier League loss to Southampton on Saturday marked a low point in his relationship with Manchester United’s fans.

Debutant Charlie Austin came off the bench at Old Trafford to head an 87th-minute winner, illuminating a forgettable encounter in which each side struggled for fluency and failed to create clear-cut chances.

Boos greeted the end of the first half and after 90 minutes the ire reached new levels, with United slipping five points behind fourth-place Tottenham.

Performances at home have rarely been rapturously received this season, but Van Gaal told a post-match press conference that was the worst reception he has received so far.

“Yes, it was very clear I think,” he said. “I can imagine [why] also, because I have seen also a poor match.

“I cannot change that feeling, I can only work hard with my players to improve our game and that is what I’m doing.

“Of course I’m disappointed but I have to think and already I put the question [to the players] ‘how can we change this?’, because we have to change this and that’s my job.”

Van Gaal lost Matteo Darmian to injury with an hour played – the Italy full-back spitting blood pitchside following a collision with Southampton striker Shane Long.

The Dutch coach said the enforced change, along with the half-time replacement of Marouane Fellaini with Juan Mata, weakened United defensively on set-pieces – his fears realised when Austin planted home James Ward-Prowse’s unerring delivery.

“The injury of Darmian came and that changed our play, I think, because that was not a nice view to see for my players.

“Still I wanted to win this game because when you can see a poor game without creating chances like that, you can win this game.

“But every change I have made today was also, in advance I knew, that when we have set-play we have a problem.

“When you change Fellaini and Darmian is going out you [lose] two headers and we don’t have a tall team.

“Of course with the changes I realised that but I hoped for more because I wanted to win this game.”


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