Belfast Telegraph

Louis Van Gaal isn't fazed by need to satisfy stars

By Paul Hirst

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal insists he will have no problem making room for his stellar cast of new arrivals.

Van Gaal is looking to finally, at the fifth time of asking, record his first win as United boss tomorrow when QPR come to Old Trafford.

Van Gaal is expected to hand Radamel Falcao, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo their debuts while Angel di Maria should make his first appearance at Old Trafford alongside £29million summer signing Ander Herrera.

How, exactly, Van Gaal plans to fit £150million-worth of talent into his first-team has been the subject of much debate since Falcao jetted into Manchester on deadline day to seal the most eye-catching move of the window.

But Van Gaal, who may have to drop the likes of Juan Mata and Robin van Persie at times this year, is not fazed by the prospect of trying to fit all his stars into his team.

"I don't have any worries about that because I have done that already – for more than 25 years," said Van Gaal when asked how he would "accommodate" his six new signings.

"I'm a coach who always decides what he sees and has observed and then decides."

Van Gaal, who said the club had done "very good" in the window, has seen his selections worries ease due to a host of injuries.

Such is the injury crisis at United that Van Gaal has had to make a list of all his unavailable players to keep track.

He produced that list at his pre-match press conference yesterday afternoon. Peering through the lenses of his thick-rimmed reading glasses, which he produced from his pocket alongside the list, Van Gaal revealed he was without nine players for tomorrow's game.

Phil Jones would be out for between three weeks and a month with a torn hamstring, said Van Gaal, who also revealed Marouane Fellaini is out for at least a month due to his ankle injury.

Michael Carrick, Chris Smalling, Sam Johnstone, Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard, James Wilson and Reece James completed the list.

The good news for United fans is that Shaw is available to make his first appearance for the Red Devils since his £28million move from Southampton.

The England left-back may be introduced off the bench though.

"Shaw is fit enough to play minutes but not the whole game," Van Gaal said.

After breaking the British transfer record two weeks ago, United fans turned up at Turf Moor with Argentina flags to greet £59.7million signing Di Maria.

The arrival of Falcao has only served to heighten the excitement among the United support, who are desperate to finally record their first win under Van Gaal.

Van Gaal has warned it will take time for the Colombian and his fellow new signings to adapt.

"What the fans expect and what I expect are different opinions," Van Gaal said.

"The fans shall expect a new start, but when you let 14 players go and buy six new players, you have 20 different relationships.

"The hierarchy has gone. Now we have to build up a new hierarchy and that always needs time. I'm sorry for that but it's like that."

Belfast Telegraph


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