Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal still defends tactics despite unrest

QPR 0-2 Manchester United

By Mark Bryans

Louis van Gaal insists he cannot listen to the opinions of every Manchester United fan after hearing a number of supporters vent their frustrations at his tactics in the win over QPR on Saturday.

United picked up just their third away Premier League victory of the season with a 2-0 result over struggling QPR as goals from substitutes Marouane Fellaini and James Wilson saw off a spirited display from the home side.

But the visitors only clicked into gear after Van Gaal changed his formation, having opted to start with three central defenders - a system the Dutchman has stuck by for most of his first season in charge at Old Trafford.

United were nowhere near their best in the first half, leading a pocket of supporters to call for a change to 4-4-2. And with the introduction of Wilson in place of Jonny Evans, Van Gaal seemingly listened with Fellaini's opener coming just a minute later.

However, after the game Van Gaal stuck by his guns and defended his original tactics, saying he will focus on what he sees in training rather than what he hears from the stands.

"I have to look at the players and I have to communicate with the players," he said.

"I cannot observe the fans because how many fans do Manchester United have? You cannot take into account 600 million opinions. To look at the players, to communicate with the players. That's my job as a manager.

"Before this match I have already thought about this shape. Then I look to my players in a training session and I look to my game plan and then I choose, and that's depending also from what I see at the training ground."

Radamel Falcao was handed a place in the United side having been dropped from the matchday squad for the 1-0 defeat at home to Southampton last weekend.

It proved to be a frustrating afternoon for the on-loan Monaco striker, who has been told to prove himself to Van Gaal, as he missed two great chances.

Falcao's immediate future at Old Trafford has been in doubt with the player's agent even questioning whether he would see out his season-long loan deal.

The 28-year-old would cost United over £40million if they decided to make the move from Monaco permanent in the summer, but with just three goals and a number of niggling injuries it remains to be seen if the club would part with such an amount.

The player himself admits he needs to start scoring soon but insists he is pleased with his all-round game.

"I am very happy with the win. It was a very difficult game but we got the three points," he said.

"We were very close to scoring more and I could have had two goals. Sadly, the goalkeeper did very well and the other chances were not that clear.

"It was 90 very important minutes for me. I need to play and I am very happy that I did. Obviously, I really hope to score soon but the opportunities will come, I am sure of that."

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