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Hodgson defends Man United striker Rooney over 'dive'

England boss Roy Hodgson has defended Wayne Rooney after the Manchester United striker was accused of diving.

Rooney earned a penalty after leaping over the Preston goalkeeper on Monday night, but Hodgson says the England skipper was being clever to avoid impact.

Wayne Rooney scored from the spot. Credit: PA

When asked whether Rooney had dived, Hodgson said: "Not for me. I just think he was taking evasive action.

"If you are a referee in the run of play without replays I don't think any of us would have said it is not a penalty.

"The goalkeeper has gone with both feet. Wayne has touched it past him."

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Young praises 'fantastic' Di Maria

Ashley Young says Manchester United did not make an expensive mistake when they broke the British transfer record to sign Angel di Maria for £59.7m.

Angel di Maria. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association

United made a statement of intent when they smashed the transfer record by almost £10m to sign Di Maria from Real Madrid last summer.

Di Maria dazzled early on but his performances faded and he struggled to recover from a hamstring problem towards the end of 2014.

Young has been a fan of the Argentinian midfielder for some time now, though, and he remains convinced United made a sound move by signing him.

"Angel was a fantastic signing," Young told United Uncovered.

"Real Madrid have other top players in their team, like Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, but he was the one who stood out for me in that team last season.

"We saw in the first couple of days in training just how good a player Angel is and what we can expect from him. He was definitely a great signing for us."

Man United manager Van Gaal claims Paul Scholes criticism 'not so interesting'

Man United manager Louis van Gaal has responded to criticism from club legend Paul Scholes by suggesting the former midfielder's words were "not so interesting."

Van Gaal wasn't interested in discussing the criticism from Paul Scholes. Credit: PA

Speaking to reporters ahead of United's FA Cup clash against Preston, Van Gaal was asked for his opinion after Scholes accused the Red Devils of playing 'miserable' football under his stewardship.

It is not so interesting, I think. Scholes is one of the fans. Fans can criticise, that is not a problem.

– Man United manager Louis van Gaal

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Scholes: Man United are 'miserable' under Van Gaal

Former Man United midfielder Paul Scholes has called some of the football his old club are playing under Louis van Gaal "miserable".

Scholes isn't impressed with United under Van Gaal. Credit: PA

Despite Van Gaal taking United to third in the table in his first season in charge, some critics have had issues with the style of play employed by the Dutchman.

Another ex-player, Gary Neville, caused a stir when he compared them to a pub side earlier this season, while Scholes also has issues.

Writing in the Independent in the wake of the midweek win over Burnley, he said:

It does not give me any pleasure to say that at the moment I am struggling to watch Louis van Gaal's team with any great enjoyment. They beat Burnley on Wednesday night but it was Burnley who had by far the best of the first half.

At times, United's football is miserable. To beat opposing teams you have to attack, and to attack you have to take risks. Too few of the players in the current team are prepared to take those risks.

– Former Man United midfielder Paul Scholes

Manchester United announce drop in revenue

Manchester United are suffering from a lack of Champions League football. Credit: PA

Manchester United have reported revenue down 14 per cent for the second quarter of their financial year as a result of being absent from the Champions League.

United's revenues for the three months ending December 31 were £105.7million compared to £122.9million a year ago - but not as great a drop as some analysts had predicted due to a reduction in the club's costs and a rise in commercial income.

United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said the club - currently third in the Premier League table - was well-placed to make it back into the Champions League next season.

Van Gaal: Man United better with Rooney in midfield

Louis van Gaal believes Man United play better when Wayne Rooney is deployed in midfield.

"You, Wayne... will play in midfield." Credit: PA

A rocky week for Van Gaal continued on Wednesday night as his United team had to battle their way to an unconvincing 3-1 Premier League win over Burnley.

United were slow and lacked creativity in attack but Van Gaal doesn't believe the answer to his team's problems can be resolved by pushing Rooney further up field.

I have to look for the better balance and I think until now because of Rooney we have a better balance in midfield.

I was very pleased how he replaced Daley Blind in the number six position. He showed composure and of course he was also today the Rooney that I want to see but he has showed that he can play in every position.

Maybe he can better play in a striker's position but then I have a problem in midfield.

– Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal

Van Gaal: Man Utd fans are happy with my style

Man Utd boss Louis van Gaal. Credit: PA

Louis van Gaal says that Manchester United fans are happy with the way his team plays after complaints by Sam Allardyce over their "long-ball" tactics.

Allardyce criticised Van Gaal's team on Sunday after the United boss scraped a 1-1 draw at Upton Park following Daley Blind's 92nd-minute equaliser.

The Dutchman introduced Marouane Fellaini as a substitute in the second half and several long passes were subsequently lofted to the 6ft 4in midfielder.

I don't think that we are not playing attractive enough for the fans, I am not sure of that. In the stadium I get always applause, so I think that everyone is still happy.

– Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal.
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