Ahead of Manchester United’s away game against Swansea City, manager Louis van Gaal spoke about the teams priorities now that Champions League qualification was complete. The Dutchman also touched on Ander Herrera and the threat that Swansea are as a team.
With qualification into Champions League group stages confirmed, Louis van Gaal shifted focus back to the Premier League ahead of his team’s tie against Swansea at the liberty Stadium. The Dutchman brushed off all transfer related questions, and focussed more on transferring their European momentum towards the Premier League.
“We are better prepared than we were last year”
In his pre-match Press Conference , The van Gaal spoke about how far the team has come under him. He .3played his first game against Swansea, a 2-1 home loss, and is now set to play his 50th against the same opposition. During his first outing against the Swans, Van Gaal had nine first team players injured. In the second, the Dutchman felt that they were ‘very unlucky to lose’. Now however, he feels that the team are better prepared to handle the game against Swansea.
Van Gaal did credit the Garry Monk’s side, saying that “Swansea City had a very good team last year, and also this year, they prove it”. While he did go on to admit that it would be “very difficult to beat them” Van Gaal re-iterated that their preparations this time around would make them stronger than they were before against the Swans.
“The Present is more important”
After negotiating a two leg qualifier, that too in some style, Van Gaal believes that the focus of the club is affixed onto the next game. Admitting that his Champions league opposition ‘could have been worse’ The Dutchman feels that that hurdle will be crossed when the time comes. At present however, Van Gaal is sticking to the next Premier League game. During his first run in English football, Louis van Gaal experienced just how fickle and ever changing the Premier League can be, with form and momentum being an absolute necessity to getting ahead.
The Dutchman revealed that preparations for Sunday’s game were firmly underway, admitting that ‘ a training session in relationship to Swansea City’ had already been done’. “Now only Swansea City is important” reiterated the manager as he looks towards building a good run of form in the Premiership. Seeing as how United didn’t manage to best Newcastle despite coming off a solid win against Brugge, Van Gaal will be well aware of the differences in preparation that is required for the Premier League.
“I started Herrera as No. 10, so it is possible that he can play there”
Though he only briefly touched upon Ander Herrera, the Dutchman has opened the door to the possibility of the Spaniard playing in his preferred role. Playing as an advanced midfielder in the second half, Herrera tore Brugge to shreds, setting up one and scoring one. His presence in the final third brought out the best in United’s attackers, harking back to the free flowing total football that brought Van Gaal vital success towards the close of the last season.
BT Sport reported Van Gaal as saying, “He started not so good,”
“He had a lot of ball losses and also a yellow card, so at that moment I wanted to change him, but then I saw he was coming back.
“And after that moment, he plays a good match on the ‘double six’ position, but later on at 10 he was better. So I’m very pleased also for him.”
A continued run of starts in the first team would be vital for both Herrera and the club. His off-the-ball movement opened up a whole host of chances for his team, chances, which will be of vital importance against Swansea City.