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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.


Man United defender missing ahead of Burnley clash

Defender Luke Shaw is suspended for Manchester United's home game against Burnley on Wednesday.

Luke Shaw was dismissed against West Ham. Credit: Reuters

The left-back was sent off for two yellow cards in last weekend's draw at West Ham and serves a one-match suspension.

Midfielder Michael Carrick (calf) is United's only other absentee.

Man United squad: De Gea, Lindegaard, Valdes, Blackett, Rojo, Smalling, Evans, Jones, McNair, Rafael, Pereira, Young, Blind, Fellaini, Herrera, Valencia, Powell, Januzaj, Di Maria, Mata, Falcao, Rooney, Van Persie, Wilson.

Dyche leaps to Man United defence over long ball game

Sean Dyche reacted with incredulity to criticism of Manchester United for being a long-ball team.

Dyche doesn't mind United's style at all. Credit: PA

The jibe came from West Ham boss Sam Allardyce after the 1-1 draw between the sides on Sunday and prompted Louis van Gaal to produce a dossier of statistics at his press conference on Tuesday.

Burnley visit Old Trafford on Wednesday, and Dyche will certainly not be making similar comments.

The Clarets boss said:

I'm looking at Man Utd's team - I think they're capable of playing the ball more than five or 10 yards, and probably accurately and probably with some style.

I'm certainly not questioning whether they're a long-ball side or not. I think it's a bizarre debate.

– Burnley manager Sean Dyche

Man Utd boss produces tactics dossier for Big Sam

Louis van Gaal pulled out a dossier full of statistics at his press conference as he hit back at Sam Allardyce's claim that Manchester United are long-ball merchants.

Van Gaal wasn't impressed with Big Sam's comments. Credit: PA

West Ham boss Allardyce described Van Gaal's team as "long-ball United" after they scraped a 1-1 draw at Upton Park on Sunday.

But Van Gaal said Allardyce's "interpretation" was incorrect and the Dutchman produced a pamphlet filled with statistics at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday to support his stance.

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The statistics quoted in the A4 pamphlet, which were put together by Van Gaal's analysts, claim West Ham sent a higher percentage of their long passes forward than United during the match.

West Ham attempted 200 passes, according to the figures, and United 343.

The pamphlet said 71.1 per cent of West Ham's "long passes" - of over 25 metres - went forward whereas United's percentage was just 49.9 per cent.

Diagrams in the pamphlet claim to show United's passes went sideways or diagonally, rather than forward.


Man United boss produces long ball dossier

Louis van Gaal brought some printed notes for his press conference on Tuesday in an attempt to dispel the claim Manchester United are a long ball team.

Man United defender pens new deal

Northern Irish defender Paddy McNair has signed a new two-and-a-half years deal with Manchester United.

Manager Louis van Gaal recently said the defender could become the club's right-back for years to come.

Blind keen to forget Man United game at West Ham

Man United saviour Daley Blind wants to forget his point-saving heroics at West Ham and focus on claiming victory over Burnley on Wednesday.

Blind salvaged a point late on for Man United at West Ham. Credit: PA

The Dutchman scored a stoppage-time equaliser as United rescued a 1-1 draw despite being second best at Upton Park.

The Red Devils missed the chance to move within three points of second-placed Manchester City and remained fourth ahead of the Clarets clash at Old Trafford.

I like that there's an early game already because we can forget this one. We have to keep looking up and three points is important in the next game.

We showed a fighting spirit and the character we have and we tried to win the game in the end, but we have to do with the draw and one point. Of course, we wanted more.

We had to score earlier in the game and not at the end. I think we could have done that. We had the chances, but not the finish. It's good that we're creating chances and it's good that we keep possession.

– Daley Blind speaking to MUTV
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