The Red Devils boss reveals that Ryan Giggs had noticed that the players were down on their usual level ahead of the loss at Goodison Park but he vows to make things right
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has questioned his side’s motivation after they fell to a 3-0 defeat at Everton.
The Red Devils would have climbed to second in the Premier League with victory but fell behind to James McCarthy’s fourth-minute goal and struggled to find a way back into the match thereafter.
And Van Gaal revealed that his coaching staff were aware that something was not right in the pre-match warm-up but, by then, it was too late to solve the issue.
“It is the first time that I have seen that our motivation, inspiration and aggression was not as high as the opponent,” he told reporters. “In sport, you shall always be compared to your opponent and that was the reason.
“I had already the feeling and my colleagues, Ryan Giggs and Albert [Stuivenberg], had the feeling because the warm-up was not as good as usual.
“Then you say that, in the last minutes before the game, you hope you can recover and stimulate your players but then it is too late.
“You have to prepare for the match two or three days before and Everton have done that and they have won because of that.”
He added: “When you have a lot of time on the ball, you can also lose the ball easily and then you have to be very sharp in the duels. When you see the goal after four minutes, three duels in a row we lost and that is an example.
“In the first half we created a lot of chances – five, I think – but we never scored. When you see the shots on the goal it is also without conviction. That is not good.”
The former Barcelona boss was hesitant to give a reason as to why his players may have struggled to get up for the match at Goodison Park, unsure if his side had grown complacent after moving ahead in the race for a top-four finish, but he insisted that he would do all he could to make sure it did not become a regular occurence.
“You cannot analyse exactly what is the reason. That is very difficult,” he continued. “I think you only can notice that and you can see that and learn from it because Everton were highly motivated and you have seen that.
“The training sessions were alright. It is also a process because we are playing so well in the last six or seven games that also players think ‘OK, it shall come’, but it shall not come.
“You need the inspiration and the motivation and the aggression to win the second balls and to fight to the end. Many times I have said they have fought to the end and a manager cannot demand more.
“I am manager of Manchester United and the players shall use my words and think and communicate with each other. I hope it shall not happen again but, as a coach, I know it shall happen again.”
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