Manchester United have failed to score in each of their previous three games — a run that included fixtures against Manchester City and Crystal Palace in the Premier League, and Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup — and face another tricky test when they take on Russian side CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday
Manchester United face Russian side CSKA Moscow in their Champions League Group B clash on Tuesday, hoping to put some distance between themselves and Leonid Slutsky’s men as they aim to catch Bundesliga runners-up Wolfsburg. The German side currently lie atop Group B with 6 points from three games, while United and CSKA Moscow are hot on their trail with 4 points each.
The Red Devils have drawn criticism from fans and pundits alike for their uninspiring football of late, but manager Louis van Gaal believes his team’s failure to score goals is only a “moment in the process”.
Van Gaal hoping to score goals against defensive CSKA Moscow
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the game at Old Trafford on Tuesday, the Dutchman insisted that his side have been working on scoring as well as their style of football. The 64-year-old is also expecting to face an organised and defensive CSKA Moscow, and has acknowledged that his team needs to improve in terms of creating and finishing chances.
Van Gaal is quoted by the official UEFA website as saying: “I think the most important thing is that you create chances and that you finish those chances. Against Middlesbrough [in the League Cup last week] we created more than enough. Against Crystal Palace it was a concern because we didn’t create as much, but that was one of the few matches in which we were not the better team.
“We are hopefully making history but it takes time. We are the best defenders in the Premier League; you say we cannot attack and it’s not true. It’s only a moment in a process. When you don’t score it is a bad period because football is scoring goals, because that makes the difference. I hope we will score against CSKA, but I know it will be very difficult as they are very organised.”
Van Gaal counting on home fans to act as team’s 12th man
The former Bayern Munich manager spoke of his appreciation for the support from the Manchester United fans, and called for them to continue supporting his players through this dip in form.
“We have had a dip in our results and we have to come out of that dip,a Van Gaal is quoted as saying by the club’s official website.
“That’s why we need the support of the fans and we have always received this support until now. But I hope, in spite of a lot of discussions, they shall support my players because my players have to do it. It is much more difficult to perform on the pitch than what I do, coaching.
“The players have to do it so the fans have to support the players. But I am very happy with that because the fans have always done that and I hope they will be the 12th player tomorrow again.”