Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has stated that he will stick to his favoured 3-5-2 formation when they take on Cambridge United in the FA Cup tomorrow, and has urged his side to keep a good on their shoulders against a weaker opponent.
The Dutch manager has come under severe criticism, both from the club’s supporters and football pundits, for his tactical decisions at Old Trafford that have backfired on various occasions. There have been cries urging the former Bayern Munich boss to switch to a more orthodox back four, but Van Gaal has clearly said that he will stick to his plan and the team will have to perform accordingly.
“We have played the 4-4-2 diamond shape for five or six games and we have created a lot of chances, but we have also conceded a few goals against us and that is the balance of the team”, he said in a press conference earlier today via the club’s official website.
“At this moment I am strict on our philosophy. Everyone has to perform in that philosophy.”
Van Gaal also said that the game against Cambridge would not be an easy one, and with the support at the Abbey Stadium, the League Two club could pull off a surprise, but hoped that his side would play cautiously and progress to the next level.
“I have seen the capacity of the stadium – nearly 10,000 fans can watch the game. The crowd is good and I hope we can beat them. They are in good shape, though, as they have won their last three matches. They have also bought new players, so we have to be alert to play against such teams”, he said.
“They play with high balls and have five or six players above 1.90m, so it is difficult for us to defend. That is why you have to prepare yourself very well”, the former Barcelona manager further explained.
“It’s always tough to play, because in the players’ minds it’s a weaker team. There are always surprises and I hope we are not the surprise.”
The manager, who has previously won cups in Spain, Netherlands, and Germany, also stressed on the importance of the tournament in England and admitted that it had a different feel to it in the country.
“I think here the FA Cup is very important for the fans, for the people and also for the players. That is the difference.”