MK Dons vs Manchester United: Louis van Gaal 'not shocked' despite heavy League Cup defeat to third tier side

Dutch manager calls on club's fans to trust him after humiliation

stadium mk

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal urged the clubs fans to believe in him and his philosophy last night, but admitted after an eviscerating League Cup second round defeat to MK Dons that he might have to change his tactical philosophy to get the best out of Angel di Maria.

The Dutchman admitted that it would be difficult for supporters to trust him - following a 4-0 defeat to the third tier side which he remarkably said had “not shocked” him. But they must, he insisted. “It is difficult for the fans to believe in philosophy of Louis van Gaal but you have to do that because I am here to build up a new team and a new team in not built in one month,” he declared.

Van Gaal proclaimed that di Maria's arrival would transform the team, likening it to his purchase of Arjen Robben almost five years ago to the day at Bayern Munich - a signing which ultimately brought triumph from a disastrous start. “Now di Maria is coming and he has to adapt also to our culture. He cannot change [immediately],” the new manager said. He seemed to hint that di Maria's introduction may create a change of system, with a 4-3-3 model a possible way of integrating him and exposing United's defence less by playing a high defensive line. “The process needs time so we shall see if with di Maria we have to change the system or not. You have to train it and it's a matter of time because we shall see if we have to change the system.”

Read more: MK Dons 4 Man Utd 0 match report
Di Maria: just what United need
Did Van Gaal drop Vidal hint?
Gary Neville on Di Maria

The manager defended his decision not to include his elite stars in the starting XI - as Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers did when his side played Notts County at the same stage last season. He insisted that he was coping with nine injuries and a second game in the space of 48 hours. He played two debutantes. “I didn't think I could play with the squad I used on Sunday. I had to look at the second team and youth education and then we played this match.” Catastrophic defensive errors handed the game to Karl Robinson's side - all four goals stemmed from unforced errors or concession of possession in United's own half. “When you make errors like that you give the match away,” van Gaal lamented.

 

In a detailed analysis of the defeat which will dismay many United fans - who believe the club should be above the minutiae of hand to hand combat with a third tier team - van Gaal said he altered his system at the interval to create a “1 v 1 over the whole pitch.” That caused more risks, while allowing United to create more chances, he said. “At half time I am a coach who is always taking risks. I want to win this one match,” he said. “When you are thinking you have to win, you have to take risks. I change the way we played.” But a more fundamental, less academic analysis of what unfolded was that United were overwhelmed in every department, not even managing a shot on goal until the 72nd minute.

Van Gaal was irritated to be pressed on why he was not shocked. “You are repeating the question,” he said. But he said he appreciated the fans' shock. “That's another question - yes that is very difficult when you start as a manger in the Premier League with a home match loss [to Swansea City] and after that draw and you lose in a cup match”

He refused to say that he had expected more from senior players, with six internationals on the field from mid-way through the first half. “You play as a team,” he said. “There are always questions about individuals. Everybody contributes in a team and sometimes one is better than the other. We have to judge the team not one individual player.”

Suggested Topics
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'