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LVG: Fans short-changed by busy festive schedule


Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes football fans are being short-changed because of the packed Christmas schedule.

Van Gaal is not enjoying his first taste of festive football in management.

The Dutchman was allowed to take time off over Christmas when managing in Holland, Spain and Germany, but he is now the middle of a run of five games in 15 days.

Van Gaal was angry at the Football Association (whom he holds responsible) for having to play Tottenham less than 48 hours after United hosted Newcastle on St Stephen's Day.

And ahead of his team's New Year's Day trip to Stoke, he renewed his attack on the authorities, claiming fans are not getting value for money because the players on show cannot cope with the demands of playing such a hectic schedule.

"Everybody knows that a body cannot recover within 48 hours," the United manager told a press conference.

"Therefore, there is a rule at UEFA and FIFA that you cannot play the games. That's scientifically proven. Everybody knows that and in spite of that, we have to play."

Van Gaal said his players "struggled for life" in the second half of their 0-0 draw at Spurs and claimed Chelsea and Southampton both suffered from fatigue at the weekend as their game petered out into a 1-1 draw.

"It's the culture of England," Van Gaal added.

"I don't mind but it is not good for the players, for the health of the players and it is not good for the game because I think that the FA, but also the fans, want attractive games.

"You have seen the second half (of United's game at Spurs). You have seen the second half of Chelsea against Southampton."

Wayne Rooney echoed his manager's complaints after the draw at Spurs, claiming that only a serious injury would cause the authorities to change their approach and introduce a winter break.

"Hopefully in the future it has to change," the United captain said.

"It will probably take someone getting a really bad injury from doing it, which no-one wants to see, but it is very demanding and I think it does need looking at."