Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Van Gaal dreading busy December

01 December 2014, 08:05

Manchester - Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal admitted he is dreading the Christmas period as his team continue their bid for a Champions League place against lowly Stoke City at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

The visit of Mark Hughes' team marks the beginning of a month in which United play seven league fixtures and, while his team has no interest in European or League Cup football, Van Gaal is adamant such a schedule is too demanding.

"I'm not happy because I do not agree with that but I cannot change that," said the former Netherlands coach.

"I don't think it's good for the football players that they play within two days another match. In December, it shall be like that.

"We also have families. I also have a wife and kids and grandchildren and I cannot see them this Christmas," the Dutchman added.

"But, I want to work in the Premier League, I have to adapt and I shall adapt."

Van Gaal's concerns have been heightened by his team's alarming injury record with Angel di Maria and Wayne Rooney becoming the 41st and 42nd United first-team players respectively to sustain injuries this season, during Saturday's 3-0 win over Hull.

Di Maria's hamstring pull will keep him out of the Stoke game, although Van Gaal was more optimistic regarding Rooney's chances of recovering from calf and knee problems in time.

No fixture benefit

The debilitating injury record is one reason why the United manager has said that the lack of fixtures in other competitions does not give his side any advantage over their rivals near the top of the league table.

"No, I don't think so," Van Gaal said. "It depends on the injuries and the other clubs are used to playing in the Champions League.

"You cannot say Chelsea are not used to playing in the Champions League, the Premier League, the League Cup and the FA Cup. They are used to that and they have all those selections for that.

"When you are challenged during the whole season, you become better and we have to train to become better."

Defender Chris Smalling, one of United's scorers against Hull, believes his side's latest victory represented the best performance of Van Gaal's reign and is relishing the prospect of continuing their current vein of form against Stoke.

"Quite a lot of our wins this season have not been that complete performance but I think against Hull we put on a 90 minute performance that the manager wanted," he said.

"The manager has said it was our best game of the season and I think it was. It was a complete performance.

"The manager said after the Arsenal game it was a performance which we'd really ground out, we didn't play particularly well. But against Hull we did. He asked for six points as a must and we're going to deliver that on Tuesday.

Also read: Van Gaal demands more from van Persie

"Confidence is good, with our home form as well. We'll be coming out firing again on Tuesday."

Meanwhile former United striker Hughes has an injury headache in midfield, with both Steve Sidwell and Glenn Whelan set to miss the trip to Old Trafford.

The pair suffered injuries during Saturday's 1-0 loss at Liverpool, with Sidwell sustaining a knee problem after a Rickie Lambert challenge, while replacement Whelan, who is only just back from a broken leg, failed to re-emerge from the tunnel after half-time after pulling his calf.

Whelan's place was taken by Charlie Adam, who is the obvious choice to fill in.

"I'm concerned by the injuries we are getting at the moment, although you can't legislate for the one Steve Sidwell suffered," Hughes said. "He opened his knee up and is very sore.

"We just hope there's nothing sinister to it but he'll need to be checked. It's unlikely either Steve or Glenn will make it."



WRAP: English Premiership

24 October 2016, 07:16

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
S Mbinya
How to get rid of cellulite at ho...

Proper diets and a healthy lifestyle are among the most effective natural remedies for cellulite. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Peter Kenneth is not a good leade...

A local activist has slammed the former Presidential candidate Peter Kenneth for only appearing during elections but going underground when the country has problems.  Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Javelin champion Julius Yego invo...

He is undergoing treatment at the Medihill hospital in Eldoret. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...