Festive outcome pleases Van Gaal

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Published: Sunday 4th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal declared himself happy with the festive period after surviving a tricky FA Cup test at Yeovil.

Yeovil are bottom of League One but United needed superb second-half goals from Ander Herrera and substitute Angel Di Maria to end their resistance and claim a 2-0 victory from a performance which failed to hit the heights at Huish Park.

Van Gaal revealed after the game that Brazilian full-back Rafael had suffered a first-half fracture, although he did not specify where the injury was, and could be out for some time. But he said he was satisfied with the result after United extended their unbeaten run to 11 games in all competitions.

“People think it’s easy because these players are from Manchester United but it’s not like that,” Van Gaal said after his players had been frustrated by Yeovil’s high-intensity pressing game.

“We played for the Netherlands against teams who were much more expensive in the world championship.

“When you can organise your team like the manager of Yeovil Town and they believe in it, you can not do a lot.

“But I’m very happy we have won and I’m very happy we have survived this festive period because I don’t have a big selection.

“I have a lot of injuries so I could not change much and, in spite of that, we have regained ground to Chelsea by one point and we are in the fourth round of the FA Cup. What can a manager wish more?”

Both Herrera and Di Maria celebrated their goals with an enthusiasm which suggested United are up for the cup and Van Gaal said it was his ambition to end United’s 11-year wait for the trophy this season.

Van Gaal was humbled when United lost 4-0 to MK Dons, another League One outfit, in the Capital One Cup in August but there was to be no slip-up in Somerset after Yeovil striker Kieffer Moore had passed up an inviting second-half scoring opportunity with the game goalless.

“I want to win a title and the players also,” Van Gaal said. ” I have been told by my fantastic assistant manager (Ryan Giggs) that Man United for 10 years have not won the FA Cup, so maybe we can do that this year.

“But it’s a very long way and the priority is also the Premier League.”

Van Gaal lost his two wing-backs, Rafael and Luke Shaw, to injury and changed the formation at half-time by adopting a 4-4-2 shape which allowed substitutes Juan Mata and Di Maria to influence the game.

“We didn’t have the patience in the first half, we wanted to make the first goal too much and mostly in a hurry,” Van Gaal added. ” But we had a man more in midfield after half-time and we kept the ball better. We showed more patience and we scored the goal.

“It was a very physical game as they made it that way but they didn’t have too many chances to score.”

Yeovil manager Gary Johnson said he was delighted with the performance of his players as he felt that they had given United a real scare.

“I can’t fault the boys for the effort they put in,” Johnson said.

“We knew all about their quality and they would have a couple of chances but we wanted to make sure we gave them a fright and I thought we did that.

“We had a chance before they scored but with that high pressing game you have to have high energy when you’re playing against a top team like Man United.

“It’s difficult to keep that up for 90 minutes, especially when they’ve got millions of pounds worth of players assured on the ball and who can keep it.”

Published: Sunday 4th January 2015 by The News Editor

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