Van Gaal: United confidence smashed
Brewin: Van Gaal needs reinforcements
Van Gaal's first Premier League match in charge of United ended in defeat as Ki Sung-Yeung and Gylfi Sigurdsson scored at Old Trafford.
Wayne Rooney equalised early in the second half to seemingly give the home side the momentum but Sigurdsson netted the winner with 18 minutes remaining.
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Van Gaal said: "When you have preparation, win everything, then lose your first match, it cannot be worse.
"We have built up a lot of confidence. It will be smashed because of this."
He added: "I have said before that I know how big a job I face here. Our wins in the United States and against Valencia meant that the expectation was so high.
"In the first half I saw a lot of my players looking very nervous and making the wrong choices. The players have to get used to that expectation because this is Manchester United and they have to cope with that pressure.
Will Man United finish in the top four?
"Of course I am very disappointed to lose - for the players and fans and for myself and my staff.
"But we have to remember this is only one of many games and nobody is champions now. You are the champions in May."