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LVG: “United better at defending than at going forward”

Manchester-United-v-Newcastle-United (2)Louis Van Gaal has admitted that Manchester United are better without the ball than with it, insisting that the defensive solidity United have shown so far was extremely important.

The Dutchman has attracted criticism for a style of football that is perceived to be too rigid and not as expansive as fans demand, but the former Holland manager claimed defensive organisation was just as important as scoring goals.

“Until now, of course, our defensive organisation,” Van Gaal replied when asked what had been the most pleasing aspect of the season so far.

“I divide football in four main moments and we have two moments where the opponent has ball – and then we are at our best, I think.”

However, Van Gaal, who earlier this week insisted United did not need to sign another striker this summer, admitted that there was a lot of room for improvement in the final third of the pitch, after his side scored just two goals in their first three league games of the season.

“We proved that last year already and now we are continuing with a lot of clean sheets, so that is very important, but we have to improve when we have the ball.”

United travel to Brugge on Wednesday night knowing that a draw, or even a one-goal defeat, would ensure a return to the Champions League proper after a season-long absence.