Van Gaal defends tactics following United’s win at Queens Park Rangers
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has defended his tactics amid fan unrest during the 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers.
The travelling United supporters chanted "attack, attack, attack" and "four-four-two, four-four-two, four-four-two" as the visitors labored in possession and failed to create too much in the first half of Saturday’s Premier League clash at Loftus Road.
Van Gaal reverted to a diamond midfield after the break and substitutes Marouane Fellaini and James Wilson both had an impact as they scored to secure victory. But the United boss insisted he will not revert to that system permanently, saying he will decide on the right shape depending on their opponent.
"I know in advance that when we play with four midfielders in a diamond that we create more chances, but then the balance of the team is also weak," he said. "And you’ve seen it because we had created chances but so had QPR. We have to decide every week how we have to play. And that’s the question."
Van Gaal added: "In the first half, we played like QPR wanted. We did the same thing as QPR, playing through the air, long balls, and QPR were better. In the second half, we changed the shape and that helped also."
Radamel Falcao endured a disappointing afternoon in front of goal, with the striker denied three times by QPR goalkeeper Rob Green while also missing a glorious opportunity to tap in at the far post. Van Gaal said he was pleased with the Colombian’s display but knows Falcao will be disappointed not to have got on the scoresheet.
"I think he did well," he said. "[But] it’s not so important what I think, because he wants to score goals. And for me, I have to judge how he has played. Scoring goals is an important aspect of a striker I know, but for me it’s also very important if he is an attacking point, that he can play further and that with another striker we are coming into third and fourth phases of our attack. And I think he did well."
Following the defeat to United, Tony Fernandes branded reports Harry Redknapp faces the sack at QPR as "a load of nonsense", according to the Loftus Road manager.
Redknapp claimed a club insider is trying to force him out of QPR and pressure increased after his side’s 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United. Marouane Fellaini and James Wilson scored at Loftus Road to spare Radamel Falcao’s blushes as the Colombia striker fluffed four gilt-edged chances.
Former Tottenham boss Redknapp again claimed the full backing of owner Fernandes, however, suggesting the QPR chairman laughed off threats to his future over the phone.
"I’m not worried at all," said Redknapp, despite Queens Park Rangers remaining 19th in the Premier League. "That’s the owner’s choice isn’t it, if they want to make a change. I spoke to Tony Fernandes this week, five times, and he’s never mentioned anything to me, he’s just said, ‘What a load of nonsense.’"
Redknapp addded: "So I don’t know. Who do you believe, the insider, whoever may be, who’s trying to cause a problem, or do you believe the chairman? "I don’t worry. What will be will be."