Manchester United owe fans 'a big result' vs. Liverpool - Louis van Gaal
MANCHESTER -- Louis van Gaal has said Manchester United owe their fans "a big result" against Liverpool in the Europa League on Thursday.
United boss Van Gaal urged supporters to believe in the possibility of a comeback from 2-0 down in the round-of-16 second leg game.
"We owe always the fans a big result because they are paying to see that," Van Gaal told his prematch news conference on Wednesday.
"We have to deliver. But, in sport, you can lose and win. That you have to accept.
"The challenge to beat Liverpool, being 2-0 down, is a big challenge. We have to believe. It starts with the players of course. It starts also with the fans. I have spoken only about the victory and that we have to believe in it.
"I'm very satisfied about the fans. We don't fulfil the expectations and still they support this team and manager. We need their support because the impact is big."
Reflecting on the lessons of the disappointing first-leg display at Anfield, Van Gaal said a dramatic improvement was needed but denied his gameplan had been wrong.
"The first half was not our half -- we have to do much better than that, otherwise we cannot win," he said.
"After the match, you can say maybe you have to press in another way or play more compact. But that's already considered in the game plan."
Ashley Young, Guillermo Varela and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson all took part in United training on Wednesday.
However, Young is not ready to be named in the squad for Thursday, Van Gaal said.
The Liverpool game will be his 150th in Europe as a manager, and when told about that statistic he said: "I didn't know it is 150 already -- a lot, yes? You know the statistics, how many I win and lose? That's more interesting."
He again backed Marouane Fellaini, who was booed off by United fans when substituted in Sunday's FA Cup game against West Ham at Old Trafford.
"I cannot say if Fellaini plays tomorrow because then I give away part of my lineup and I don't want to do that," Van Gaal said.
"Fellaini has his way of playing and can give us a lot of qualities. He has contributed in a lot of games in a very good way."
Arindam is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @ARejSport.