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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Aug 26, 2014

Van Gaal: Rebuilding will 'take time'

ESPN FC's Craig Burley questions why Louis van Gaal is being given so much slack after a dismal start to the season.

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal would understand if United fans were starting to question whether they are set to have another disappointing season following last year's seventh-place finish under David Moyes.

"When you start as a manager in the Premier League with a home loss, a draw, and after that you lose a cup match then it is very disappointing," he said, following his side's 4-0 loss to MK Dons in the Capital One Cup.

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The Dutchman added that despite the difficulty for the fans to believe in his philosophy, they must understand what goes into the process.

"I am here to build a new team and a new team is not built in one month, it takes time," said Van Gaal.

United announced the 59.7 million-pound signing of Angel di Maria before kick-off, but it became clear from this performance that they desperately need defensive reinforcements. Di Maria will play a big part in that rebuilding process. But he, like Van Gaal, will need time to become familiar with his new surroundings.

"He has to adapt to our culture, our philosophy, he cannot change like that," Van Gaal said before clicking his fingers.

Van Gaal will experiment with Di Maria in several different positions over the next few days before deciding where he can slot the 26-year-old into his starting XI.

A change in system from 3-4-2-1 to 4-3-3 may be required, although Van Gaal thinks the player is versatile enough to play as a winger or a deep lying central midfielder.

"You cannot switch to another system and it works like that," said Van Gaal, again clicking his fingers.

"You have to train it, it's a matter of time because the process needs time so we shall see if with Di Maria we have to change the system or not."

Van Gaal went on to say he was not surprised at his team's inept performance because he is well aware of their defensive frailties. Jonny Evans, who captained a team containing 10 changes, handed the Dons the lead when he passed straight to the opposition in his own penalty box.

Jonny Evans shows his frustration on a night that saw Manchester United play poorly all around, but especially on defence.

And the Northern Irishman, seen as one of the most experienced members of the team, then put Michael Keane under pressure with a bad pass in the build-up to the second goal. Grigg was the man to capitalise on both occasions.

"We made errors in building up situations in the first phase, and when you make errors like that you give the match away," said Van Gaal, who admitted he played a role in the defeat by pushing for a win in the second half.

"I am a coach who always takes risks," he said. "And at half-time I changed how we played."

The defeat brought back uncomfortable memories for the United fans who recall their team's last venture into the League Cup at the second round stage in 1995, when they lost to York.

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