Thursday 29 January 2015

We are disappointed in ourselves and never played as a team - Louis van Gaal

Published 16/08/2014 | 16:06

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal leaves the pitch after his teams 2-1 defeat against Swansea City, during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 16, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read:Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal leaves the pitch after his teams 2-1 defeat against Swansea City, during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford

Louis van Gaal was disappointed with his Manchester United side's disjointed display after Swansea won 2-1 to gate-crash his first taste of Premier League football at Old Trafford.

Ki Sung-yueng stunned the expectant United fans by handing the visitors a first-half lead, before newly-appointed captain Wayne Rooney scooped an overhead kick home from close range to level the scores after the break.

But just when United were expected to go on and secure the victory Gylfi Sigurdsson bundled the past David de Gea, who should have done better, to get Van Gaal's reign off to a losing start.

"We didn't reach the level we have shown in the past matches and that is disappointing because this is the most important match," Van Gaal told BT Sport 1.

"We were disappointing in defence and we are disappointed with ourselves and that's why we lost today."

The Dutch boss, who has won league titles with every club side he has managed so far in his career, quickly batted away suggestions that the opening-day performance will have a big impact on his transfer plans.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal leaves the pitch after his teams 2-1 defeat against Swansea City. Photo credit:Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal leaves the pitch after his teams 2-1 defeat against Swansea City. Photo credit:Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal takes his seat, during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford
Swansea City's Ki Sung-yueng celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with teammate Jonjo Shelvey (right) and manager Gary Monk (left) during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford
Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj (left) and Swansea City's Jonjo Shelvey (right) battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford
Swansea City's Wilfried Bony (L) celebrates as team mate Ki Sung-Yeung (unseen) scores a goal against Manchester United during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring against Swansea City during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford
Manchester United's Jesse Lingard reacts after being injured during his team's English Premier League soccer match against Swansea City at Old Trafford
Manchester United's (left to right) Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez dejected at the restart after Swansea City score during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford
Manchester United's Juan Mata (left) and Wayne Rooney (right) line up a free kick during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford
Swansea City's Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game in front of the away fans during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney scores his teams first goal against Swansea City, during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford
Swansea City's Ki Sung-Yeung (L) celebrates with team mates Jonjo Shelvey (C) and Neil Taylor after scoring a goal against Manchester United

"No, because that is a short term assault I think, but of course we need defenders but I have already said that in former press conferences," he added.

"You cannot say because of one game that we lost, and all the others we won, that it is the defence. It's the team.

"We never played as a team I think and that's our error and also we don't reach the required level and maybe because of that we haven't played like a team."

Garry Monk's Swansea side took advantage of United's unfamiliarity with playing three at the back in the first half, but once they added an extra body in defence the home side looked more comfortable.

Van Gaal revealed that he decided early on in the clash to make that tactical switch to combat what the Swans were doing.

"They made the pitch very big and then we have to press more in front and the system 4-3-3 is a better system to press the ball," he said.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal leaves the pitch after his teams 2-1 defeat against Swansea City
WBA player Saido Berahino converts his penalty past Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney reacts after a missed free kick against Swansea City
Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny (left) celebrates scoring their first goal of the game with team-mate Calum Chambers
Referee Neil Swarbrick sprays vanishing spray as Sebastian Larsson of Sunderland prepares to take a free
Kyle Naughton of Spurs reacts after receiving a red card for handball
Rory Mcilroy greets the Manchester United mascot during the half time
Sunderland player Seb Larsson celebrates
Kasper Schmeichel of Leicester City celebrates the goal scored by Chris Wood
Match referee Jon Moss reacts as foam sprays out from its canister
Everton's Aiden McGeady (R) scores a goal against Leicester City
Aiden McGeady (R) celebrates with team-mate Steven Pienaar
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney scores a bicycle kick against Swansea
Hull City manager Steve Bruce (left) and Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp
Swansea City's Ki Sung-Yeung (L) celebrates with team mates Jonjo Shelvey (C) and Neil Taylor after scoring a goal against Manchester United
Match referee Mike Dean sprays a free kick line
Aston Villa's Paul Lambert and Roy Keane
Mauricio Pochettino the Spurs manager celebrates his team's goal
Andreas Weimann of Aston Villa celebrates
Eric Dier celebrates with Harry Kane after scoring the winning goal

"We started to do that very well and we scored a fantastic goal and then we have chances to make it 2-1 but chances is not enough, you have to take the chances. The result is what counts."

In a strange twist David Moyes' short spell in charge at United also got under way against the same opponents this time last year. On that occasion the Red Devils left the Liberty Stadium with three points after a convincing 4-1 victory.

Earlier this week Van Gaal stressed that he wanted to get a victory to breathe confidence into Old Trafford again, but the memory of how last season descended into a seventh-placed finish should act as a cautionary tale for judging this opening-day result too harshly.

The 63-year-old says he now needs to go away and analyse the defeat because he cannot fault the effort put in by his players.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal leaves the pitch after his teams 2-1 defeat against Swansea City
WBA player Saido Berahino converts his penalty past Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney reacts after a missed free kick against Swansea City
Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny (left) celebrates scoring their first goal of the game with team-mate Calum Chambers
Referee Neil Swarbrick sprays vanishing spray as Sebastian Larsson of Sunderland prepares to take a free
Kyle Naughton of Spurs reacts after receiving a red card for handball
Rory Mcilroy greets the Manchester United mascot during the half time
Sunderland player Seb Larsson celebrates
Kasper Schmeichel of Leicester City celebrates the goal scored by Chris Wood
Match referee Jon Moss reacts as foam sprays out from its canister
Everton's Aiden McGeady (R) scores a goal against Leicester City
Aiden McGeady (R) celebrates with team-mate Steven Pienaar
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney scores a bicycle kick against Swansea
Hull City manager Steve Bruce (left) and Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp
Swansea City's Ki Sung-Yeung (L) celebrates with team mates Jonjo Shelvey (C) and Neil Taylor after scoring a goal against Manchester United
Match referee Mike Dean sprays a free kick line
Aston Villa's Paul Lambert and Roy Keane
Mauricio Pochettino the Spurs manager celebrates his team's goal
Andreas Weimann of Aston Villa celebrates
Eric Dier celebrates with Harry Kane after scoring the winning goal

"The first thing that I say is that we are not reaching our level and we have to evaluate why because they have done their utmost best," he added.

"I cannot say they didn't do their best because you can see in the second half they have run all the miles together but I think we have to always keep our heads up and use the second step in our process better than we have today."

Here are the goals from the game:

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