Manchester United and coach van Gaal hail defensive effort
BPL day 2: Aston Villa 0-1 Manchester United
Coach van goal reacts:
United’s performance and victory: “Yes, I am very happy that we have won. We started the competition with a win at home and a win away. The key for this season is to win more away games and I think we are capable of doing that.”
Why Januzaj started at Villa Park: “Because he gave signals in training that he is more and more confident, but also better. I like a second striker in that position (behind Rooney) more than a third midfielder. That is why, for example, Herrera is not playing but is always coming on as a substitute, because he is more of a controlling midfielder there.”
On possession: “OK, today Januzaj gave us a wonderful goal and I am very happy with him, but we have to show more ball capacity. We had too many unnecessary losses of possession as a team and Adnan Januzaj had unnecessary ball losses. There were others – Memphis Depay, Rooney – who all had too many unnecessary ball losses. That is why we did not create too much and, in a game like that, we could have created much more.”
Memphis and his scoring chances: “Memphis could have scored, but it is a big step. You cannot imagine the difference between the Dutch competition and the Premier League – it is a big difference! He has to cope with the different rhythm of the game here but I’m very much confident that he shall cope with that.”
Consecutive clean sheets for United’s defence: “I’ve said from the beginning that the defence is an effort of the whole team. The main thing is our part in the ball possession of the opponent because we defended very well. Also in the counter and the transitions, we are doing very well and that is why we scored last week, out of the transition [of possession]. Now I have to say that we scored out of a fantastic pass from Juan Mata.”
“Yes, I think when you win two times then you shall have a lot of confidence. But every match is difficult and Belgian teams can play very compactly, they can defend and a team always has a chance of winning. Like on [Friday], every team has a chance and if they score out of that chance then it shall be very difficult.
“When you score more than your opponent, then it is enough. But I think we had too many unnecessary ball losses. That is not only Adnan Januzaj but also Memphis Depay and Wayne Rooney, so a lot of players can do more and we have to improve that.
“But, in spite of the ball losses, we had more chances than the opponent and bigger chances, and we scored the goal. It was a fantastic goal after a fantastic pass from Mata.”