Van Gaal unhappy with Man United's performance, fears losing fans
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal admitted he was unhappy with his side's performance in the 3-1 win over Burnley on Wednesday night.
Chris Smalling scored twice and Robin van Persie netted from the penalty spot at Old Trafford as the hosts moved up to third in the Premier League, but Sean Dyche's side caused problems for the Manchester United defense, which looked shaky on several occasions.
Van Gaal named the same six attacking players from the draw with West Ham in which they struggled, and it was a similarly lackluster performance going forward.
The Red Devils boss addressed criticism over his side's style of play in his prematch news conference and the hosts did not resort to bringing on Marouane Fellaini to play long balls, but Van Gaal was still not happy with the way his side played.
"I don't like this performance today," he said. "Of course we have won and the result is fantastic but in the process that we have, we are not going up. After this match you cannot say we are going up. I want to progress every match."
Wednesday's win means United have lost just once in their last 14 Premier League matches â a run which has seen them secure a good position in the race for the Champions League places. Manchester United teams of old had a reputation for winning matches when they were not performing at their best, and Van Gaal admits his side is showing that quality.
"I've said that in other words to my players," he added. "We were not playing good but we scored at the right time and we were lucky in the first half. In the second half we played a little bit better and I don't think we gave a lot of chances away, but we also created more chances."
He said: "We were indeed not so good today and when you win, what can you say? When you're playing bad and you win the game, we probably have a good team."
Relegation-threatened Burnley caused the hosts plenty of problems at Old Trafford and Van Gaal recognized some unrest from the fans in the first half.
"I heard the first whistles - that is a concern because we are playing for the fans," he said. "The fans are the most important part of the club. They keep the club living and that is very important but they also applauded after the match and always in matches there is 90 minutes, not 45."
Although they are now third in the league, United have not won many plaudits for their playing style this season. They were labelled a 'long-ball' team by West Ham manager Sam Allardyce after their 1-1 draw at the weekend and Van Gaal acknowledged his side looked nervous against Burnley.
"Today it was like that, I agree with that, so that is a pity because the fans were still supporting, because of the positive (score) at halftime," he said.
"I thought that was fantastic when the team was playing (like) that. I never had that experience with my other teams so I was happy with the support of the teams. But of course we cannot have that the next game because then we are out of the FA Cup because we were also lucky today."