• Premier League

Van Gaal warns it could take a year to rebuild United

ESPN staff
August 27, 2014
Di Maria to lead United back to winning ways?

Louis van Gaal has warned Manchester United fans it could take him a year to arrest the club's dismal slide.

United suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of third-tier MK Dons in the second round of the League Cup - the first time the club had entered the competition since 1995 after they failed to secure European football this season.

Having taken just a point from his opening two Premier League games against Swansea and Sunderland, Van Gaal is still waiting for his first competitive victory at United - and said the result was not a complete surprise.

"I'm not shocked because I know what can happen," Van Gaal said. "I thought MK Dons played very well - they were aggressive and they had also had a little bit of luck."

He then suggested United's struggles may continue for the whole season.

"It is very difficult when you start as a manger in the Premier League with a home match loss and after that a draw [at Sunderland] and then you lose in a cup match," he said.

"It is difficult for the fans to believe in the philosophy of Louis van Gaal, but you have to do that because I am here to build up a new team and a new team is not built in one month.

"We are building a team which we cannot make in one month or even one year. It is very disappointing, but I hope they maintain their confidence in our club. We know exactly what we are doing. We have lost in the Capital One Cup, so tonight has cost us the chance of a trophy, and that is disappointing."

United may have have just broken the British transfer record to sign Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria for £59.7 million, but Van Gaal's line-up on Tuesday was a far less star-studded affair.

With Van Gaal turning to his fringe players and youngsters, he defended his decision to make 10 changes from the 1-1 draw at Sunderland on Sunday, citing the quick turnaround as the reason he couldn't play his first-team stars.

"We have played the match when we had nine injuries and we have played within 48 hours [of our last game]," Van Gaal said. "So I don't think I can play with the squad I used on Sunday. I have to look at the second team and youth education and then we played this match.

"But we made errors building up situations in the first phase and, when you make errors like that, you give the match away.

"At half-time, I am a coach who is always taking risks. I always want to win the match and when you are thinking that you have to win, you have to take risks.

"I changed the way we played in the first half. We played one versus one over the whole pitch and when you see that we created a lot of chances, but we were not lucky.

"Then we had another building-up error in the first phase and they score again. After that, it is very difficult because you cannot go back any more and then you give spaces away, so you can expect also 0-3, 0-4. I played a young team of course. I'm disappointed, but I can analyse this."

Debuts were handed to Saidy Janko and Marnick Vermijl though United still fielded five full international players.

But despite poor performances from the likes of Anderson, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, Van Gaal refused to lay the blame at the feet of his senior players.

"You play as a team," he said. "There are always questions about individuals, but everybody contributes in a team and sometimes one is better than the other. We have to judge the team and not one individual player."

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