• ‘We are winning … maybe we don’t need other players’
• ‘I want to give the current players an honest chance’
Louis van Gaal is not concerned that Manchester United have yet to make any new signings since the end of June with the manager insistent he wants to give “the current players an honest chance”.
But when asked if he was worried that as the transfer window enters its final month there has been no further strengthening, Van Gaal said: “I want to give the current players an honest chance. We are winning everything, maybe we don’t need other players.”
With United to play Real Madrid at Michigan Stadium in front of a 110,000 crowd, in the fourth match of their US summer tour, Van Gaal stated it was difficult to offer an assessment of his players since he took over. “I can’t say much about the progress of the squad as we have only had training sessions here,” he said with regard to any advances since United beat Internazionale in Washington on Tuesday. “We have to see that also the players have had a culmination of tiredness of training and travelling and matches. I will think about the lineup and think about how many I will change. I will play 60 minutes with the first lineup.”
Chris Smalling trained alone at Michigan Stadium, nicknamed the Big House, on Friday evening due to a knock. “Smalling has a minor problem so he won’t play. We will not take a risk,” said Van Gaal.
Wayne Rooney stated that although he has been wearing a protective garment on his wrist he is fine. “I have had a sore wrist and I have been protecting it. There is no problem,” he said.
The pitch at Michigan Stadium was laid last Sunday and Van Gaal and Rooney do not believe it is the best quality. “They are used to NFL and that is a throwing game and doesn’t take care of the ground. The pitch isn’t good and that’s a pity because we have two fantastic teams who will have to play on a bad pitch,” said Van Gaal.
“The ball won’t roll. It’s bumping.” Rooney said: “The pitch is soft. We have to adapt and try and win.”
If United draw against Real they are guaranteed a place in Monday’s final in Miami of the International Champions Cup where they would play Liverpool or Manchester City. Rooney would welcome the chance to play against either. “It would be fantastic to get to the final against a rival but it’s important to beat Real and end the group as leaders,” he said.
“There will be 100,000 here and that will be great. It will be amazing, the largest number of fans I have played in front of. It will be a great experience.”
Van Gaal is not worried another match on the tour would drain his players. “It’s a burden for my wife but not for me and the players,” he said. “I’m anxious to win. I always want to win and Manchester United is a club that always wants to win.”
Rooney is continuing to enjoy Van Gaal’s fresh 3-4-1-2 formation. “It’s been great,” said the forward, who has scored four times on the tour. “The manager has come in and we are playing a new system and learning that and trying to get better. Over the next few weeks we will get better. It’s been tough but the results will come I hope. I have enjoyed the role I have played in. I am looking forward to playing in a few more games and being successful.”