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Jul 31, 2014

Evans hails Van Gaal's approach

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has admitted that he is keen to strengthen his defensive options.

Jonny Evans thinks Louis van Gaal has installed a far more impressive and detailed system of analysing his players since he took over as Manchester United manager.

Van Gaal has implemented a host of new rules and initiatives since succeeding David Moyes as United boss.

The former Netherlands coach has ordered his players to speak English to each other, rectangular tables have been replaced by circular ones at meal times to encourage conversation and the 62-year-old has implemented double training sessions to make sure the players are in shape for the start of the season.

New pitches and state of the art cameras have been installed at the club's training ground in Carrington and video analysis has been a key part of the summer tour, which has seen the team win all three of their matches.

United only won two of their preseason games last year under Moyes, so it looks like Van Gaal's extensive preparation is already paying off.

"I think it is a lot more detailed at the training ground (now)," United defender Evans told a news conference in the U.S. "They have spent thousands on it and a few of the lads have seen HD cameras around the pitch. We have this system at the minute where he can watch us on the pitch. "I think a lot of teams use it but we are looking into it in quite a lot of detail.

"He is saying 'you should be five yards to the right', we are able to see things that are happening live on the pitch. That kind of scrutiny is new to every single player. The case before was that as long as we got the results everything was fine.

"David Moyes would have looked at videos a lot so we got a bit of that from last year. [Now] we are looking at things in detail."

Louis Van Gaal's innovations to bring Manchester United's players together are a hit with Jonny Evans.

Van Gaal's training sessions have become absorbing to watch on this tour. The Dutchman, arms crossed standing tall, usually observes from a distance. The only time he intervenes in drills is either when he praises someone with a thundering clap, a big pat on the back or a high-five, or when he disapproves of their efforts.

No player is immune to a dressing down in training -- even when the session is conducted in front of thousands of fans, as has been the case throughout the tour.

Evans does not mind Van Gaal's tough love approach.

"The manager told us it was going to be difficult because he is demanding and he knows that himself," the Northern Ireland centre-back added. "That is the standard he has set for us. It is everything from the clothes you wear to the time you have a meal and everyone eating together.

"He is quick to congratulate you when you have done well and is also quick to tell you when you have done something wrong."

Evans, now in his eighth year at United, has a big chance to cement his place in the first-team this term following the summer exit of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

The 26-year-old, who has played 181 times for the club, has made a good impression so far, starting all three games on the American tour.

His selection has almost been by default though as Van Gaal, who has opted to play 3-5-2 in the U.S., only has three recognised centre-backs. Van Gaal is trying to add Mats Hummels and Thomas Vermaelen to his squad before the start of the season.

But Evans is not fazed by the talk of new arrivals.

"I'm sure we will sign another centre-back or two but that is always the challenge at Manchester United," he said.

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