Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has once again underlined his desire to add more pace and creativity to his forward line.
The Red Devils have come under fire for scoring just twice in their last four games in all competitions and supporters at Old Trafford have become increasingly frustrated with the style of football on offer in recent weeks.
Having allowed Angel Di Maria to depart for Paris Saint-Germain before the start of the season and losing out to Chelsea in a pursuit of Pedro, Van Gaal previously admitted that United are lacking quality out wide.
And the former Netherlands boss has hinted at possible transfer activity by again calling for reinforcements in those positions.
“We have to score more goals, I agree with that, but only one more than the opponent,” he said. “That’s what I am thinking. And, of course, we still need players with more creativity and pace on the wings.
“That I have said five months ago, three months ago and now I am saying it again, but we need that, so we are still in a process.
Cries of ‘We’re Man United, we want to attack’ preceded loud booing as Anthony Martial was substituted during Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over CSKA Moscow, prompting Van Gaal to urge fans to direct their anger at him rather than the players.
“My first year when I started as a 39-year-old coach with Ajax, all the fans were shouting, from the very first day, the name Johan Cruyff, until we won the UEFA Cup and then it was finished,” he said.
“In Barcelona we had white handkerchiefs –my second period in Barcelona [2002-03] it was always the white handkerchiefs. In Bayern Munich, I had the same in my second year [2010-11] so I, as a manager, am used to these negative things, I think.
“But the number of fans is, of course, much higher with Manchester United, because we have the most fans in the world.”
Van Gaal accepts that expectations are high at the club and has challenged his players to cope with the pressure of sustaining a title challenge this season.
“I think when you play for Manchester United you believe that you have to be top of the league. That’s the culture of the club also. All the players who are coming here feel that but it is also a pressure. You have to cope with that pressure.
“But, of course, when I came here we were seventh and last year we were very close. And also, this year we are closer than last year. We still have to play a lot of matches, but we have much more points, we are more stable, we are having less goals against us than last season.”
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