Cambridge vs Manchester United: U's head coach Richard Money defends Abbey Stadium pitch after Louis van Gaal's criticism

Van Gaal believes the pitch had an influence on United's performance but Money says it was the same for both teams as FA Cup fourth round taken to replay

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The Independent Online

Cambridge head coach Richard Money has defended the Abbey Stadium pitch after it was criticised by Louis van Gaal.

Manchester United's boss said "every aspect of the match is against us" after his men were held to a 0-0 FA Cup draw by the League Two side on Friday night.

It was a tough evening for the three-time European champions and they must face the underdogs again for the right to make the fifth round.

 

They will do so on their home turf, though, rather than on a pitch which Van Gaal was critical of.

"We have to come here, the pitch is not so good, but that can influence also that you play in another playing style," he said.

"The opponents are always giving a lot more than normally. And defending is always easier than attacking.

"Then you have seen the referee (Chris Foy). It's always the same. Everywhere I have coached these games - and I have coached them also with other clubs - it's always the same."

But Money stood firm about his club's facilities when asked on Saturday morning.

"We don't have the money to spend on the pitch to make it as it is at Old Trafford or anywhere else," he told BBC 5 Live.

"The groundsman did a fantastic job to keep it in the condition it was. Yes it broke up a little bit but it's the same for both teams, I have to say that."

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Louis van Gaal blamed his players for the draw with Cambridge

Money said he had no dealings with Van Gaal after the match.

"I didn't, the media commitments were ridiculous so I didn't get a chance to chat to any of their staff afterwards," he added.

"I know Ryan Giggs came into the coaching room with one or two members of staff and was very complimentary so that was nice."

Van Gaal said before the game that a 4-4-2 formation gives him a "twitchy a**" but he selected four at the back due to it resulting in more chances.

"I know the statistics of our former performances. You could see we create more chances (playing 4-4-2)," Van Gaal added.

"(But) it is not only the system. It is also the performance of the system.

"It is not so easy to change the system or something. That is not the solution. That I know."

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Cambridge United's Abbey Road stadium

Van Gaal rested Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata but did not rue the decision with hindsight.

"I'm not regretting that," he said.

Asked if he thought Cambridge, promoted to League Two last season after nine years outside the Football League, can go to Old Trafford and win, Money said: "No. I don't, but you never know.

"We've said in the dressing room 'You're going to Old Trafford. Who cares what happens? Just go and enjoy it, soak it in. Whatever happens, happens'.

"This club has been in the doldrums for 10 years, out of the Football League, and suddenly here we are taking everybody back to Old Trafford. It's incredible."

Money said earlier in the week that his players would have to pay for a new shirt if they swapped with their opponents.

"Not one player asked me (if they could swap)," Money added.

Midfielder Tom Champion appeared to have found a way around that, though, as he tweeted a picture of himself holding up Michael Carrick's shirt, still wearing his own.

PA

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