Louis van Gaal has admitted he feels “lousy” for Manchester United fans and board as regards his team’s relatively poor performance so far this season.
Many of the club’s faithful are beginning to fear the worst, with the 20-time champions sitting tenth in the table having earned thirteen points from 10 games- their worst start since 1986-87 when Ron Atkinson was sacked. At this stage under Van Gaal’s predecessor David Moyes, who lasted only ten months, United were four points better.
The Dutch boss sounded irritated that his often repeated assertion that “a process” is taking place at Old Trafford has gotten under the microscope given his team’s poor start to the season, in spite of the high level of expectation that had followed his appointment and after £150m was spent in the summer.
“I feel, myself, very lousy for the fans firstly, but also for the board because they have a great belief in me and my players and my staff and when you have 13 points out of 10 matches you are not doing well,” remarked van Gaal.
He though admits his team current run of form plainly suggests they are not doing well enough but warns his rebuilding process could take “three years”.
“I feel for the fans and also the board because they have belief in me, my staff, and my players,” Van Gaal, who was given a three-year contract this summer, said.
“13 points from 10 matches, you are not doing well, but we are in a process. As I have said from the beginning, even when we won five games in the US, the process shall take more than one year.
“It shall take three years, I hope, though that is dependent on lots of things. But I think we will make it happen, that we will win a lot of matches.”
United’s defensive concern was another issue on the forefront at Friday’s media briefing, with Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Rafael da Silva all expected to miss Crystal Palace visiton Saturday through injury while Chris Smallings is suspended.
The ‘Red Devils’ have scored 16 goals and conceded 14 times so far this season, as Van Gaal has had to hand a couple of academy players their debut in the troubled United defence.
The circumstances call for concern but not the performance of the defenders, who often times have been played out of position, according to the 63-year-old.
“If you don’t count the five goals at Leicester, we have better (defence) than Chelsea I believe,” Van Gaal said. “That’s not the problem, the balance is. That is why I have remodeled the structure of my team. Now I have to solve the problems of the injuries every week, that’s another story”