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Van Gaal denies need for firepower

Published 22/08/2015

Wayne Rooney endured yet another frustrating afternoon at Old Trafford on Saturday
Wayne Rooney endured yet another frustrating afternoon at Old Trafford on Saturday

Louis van Gaal denied he was in urgent need of attacking reinforcements despite watching his Manchester United team record a disappointing goalless draw against Newcastle.

United's 100 per cent record fell by the wayside after a wasteful performance from Van Gaal's team.

United dominated the opening stages, making six attempts at goal in the first 20 minutes, but failed to capitalise on their dominance and left Old Trafford with one point, rather than three.

When asked after the match whether United's performance meant he needed to sign more forwards, the United manager said: "No, because we were three times the best team.

"My worry is that we have to dominate the opponent and we did it today, we did it against Aston Villa, Tottenham and (Club) Brugge.

"I am satisfied with the performance and not with the result and that is different.

"We were unlucky with rewarding ourselves because we have created a lot of chances."

The only big disappointment for Van Gaal was a refereeing decision that denied Wayne Rooney his first goal in 10 matches.

With just four minutes on the clock, Rooney raced on to Juan Mata's through-ball and lifted the ball over Tim Krul, but the goal was ruled out for a very marginal offside call.

Van Gaal said: "Wayne scored. Only it was not allowed.

"It is doubtful and the rules are that when it is doubtful, then do not flag.

"But it is also football and I have said already many times you need more equipment to help the referees and linesmen because it is not easy."

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren, making his first return to Old Trafford since coming back to English football, was impressed by how Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini kept Rooney and his team-mates quiet.

"I think we did a very good job on him," said McClaren, who was assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford for two-and-a-half years.

"We did a good job on (Adnan) Januzaj too. I thought the front four were excellent, we had to deal with that."

It was anticipated that Pedro would bolster United's forward ranks this week, but instead the former Barcelona forward joined Chelsea on Thursday.

One report claimed Van Gaal has now turned his attentions to Pedro's former Barcelona team-mate Neymar.

The Dutchman refused to discuss the report linking United with the Brazil star after the final whistle.

He said: "I don't enter in this discussions. You can ask about all the players in the world and you are doing that every press conference and I always say the same, I have to protect the interests of Manchester United, the players in my selection and the people in my organisation."

One of Van Gaal's former charges Krul also played a big part in the outcome of the match.

The Dutchman, who played under Van Gaal for the national side, saved from Rooney and Juan Mata before the break and at the death he pulled off a stunning save to deny substitute Javier Hernandez.

McClaren was also impressed by the two centre-halves in front of his goalkeeper.

"I thought Coloccini and Taylor were excellent," the former England manager said.

"You have to defend well and they were immaculate, they kept us in the game the first 20 minutes and in the last 10 minutes.

"Colo was the leader out there, Taylor also."

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