Sport Premier League

Sunday 21 September 2014

I wasn't Moyes' cup of tea but I'll shine for Van Gaal – Zaha

Mark Ogden

Published 31/07/2014 | 02:30

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Wilfried Zaha Zaha claims he can impress new Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal despite his Old Trafford disappointment last season. Photo: SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images
Wilfried Zaha Zaha claims he can impress new Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal despite his Old Trafford disappointment last season. Photo: SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

Wilfried Zaha claims he can resurrect his career at Manchester United under Louis van Gaal, after accusing David Moyes of giving him "no chance" during his first season at the club.

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Zaha, a £12m signing from Crystal Palace in January 2013, failed to start a Premier League game under Moyes, with the 21-year-old handed two brief substitute appearances and one League Cup outing, before being loaned out to Cardiff City at the turn of the year.

With persistent question marks over Zaha's attitude shadowing the player's time at Old Trafford and Van Gaal's decision to overlook him during the first two games of the club's tour of the United States, the twice-capped England winger's prospects appeared bleak under the Dutchman.

But Zaha claims Van Gaal has already displayed more faith in him than Moyes, even though he has been told that he must accept a striking role if he is to prosper at United.

"At United there are quality players and if you get your chance, you have to take it," Zaha said.

"And any chance I get I will try and make the most of it. You get ups and downs. The season before at Palace was a great season, but last season was a bad one. I've started off fresh this time.

"Last season I had no chance, but this season anything can happen. It's a clean slate for me.

"I've worked on aspects of my game and one thing is keeping it simple. Losing the ball is not going to help your team, so I'm trying to change that."

Having been the only United player not to appear in the club's tour fixtures against LA Galaxy and AS Roma, Zaha impressed during a 45-minute substitute outing against Inter Milan in Washington DC. The match was decided in a penalty shoot-out which United won 5-3 after a 0-0 draw in normal time.

And after finally being given his chance by Van Gaal, Zaha claims he can impress the former Holland coach.

"The manager has let me know that he believes in me," Zaha said.

"I can't tell what's going to happen with the club in the future, but we have a great manager and I'm sure he'll change things here.

"He will tell you exactly how he wants it. He won't beat about the bush. He will just tell you, and that helps you instead of isolating you. He'll let you know exactly where you are and what you are doing wrong.

"There was so much pressure on Moyes last season, so I can't really blame him.

"I could have got a better chance, but coming to United brings a load of pressure.

"And to be honest, if you are not the manager's cup of tea, you can't do anything about it. There was nothing I could do about it. It was definitely not my attitude, but when things aren't going well, all sorts of stories come out about you.

"The manager had his way of playing and maybe I just didn't suit it." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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