Louis Van Gaal was in a bullish mood ahead of Manchester United’s pivotal UEFA Champions League tie against CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
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United have failed to score in three-straight games, with their scoreless streak now extending to 295 minutes in all competitions.
Captain Wayne Rooney has bore the brunt of criticism from United’s fans, former players and pundits as he hasn’t scored in any of his last four games for the Red Devils and currently has just two goals through 900 minutes for his club this season. With United’s fans repeatedly chanting “attack, attack, attack!” during their 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday, van Gaal has come under pressure for the lack of goals his team are scoring despite sitting in fourth place in the Premier League and only four points off the top.
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Van Gaal is keeping his faith in Rooney.
“I still have confidence in Wayne Rooney,” van Gaal told reporters. “I think the most important thing is that you create chances and that you finish the chances. Against Middlesbrough we created more than enough chances to finish. Against Crystal Palace it was more of a concern because we don’t create so much. That was one of a few matches we were not the better team.”
After that stalemate at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace, United must now pick themselves up for the big clash against CSKA which has now become a huge match with both teams locked on four points in Group B of the Champions League. United fought back from 1-0 down to draw 1-1 in Moscow two weeks ago and anything other than a win would leave LVG’s boys in a tough spot heading into the final two games of the group stages.
The Dutch boss, in his second season in charge at United, also called on fans to inspire his side to success and urged them to get behind the players on Tuesday in a must-win match.
“I hope they shall support my players,” van Gaal said. “It’s much more difficult to perform on the pitch than it is to do what I am doing – coaching. I hope they will be the 12th player again.”