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Schmeichel: 'Van Gaal needs time'


Peter Schmeichel

Peter Schmeichel

Peter Schmeichel

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal needs to be given more time so that the club can reap the rewards of allowing him to develop his own ideas, former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel said.

Speaking at a news conference in Belgrade, Schmeichel defended Van Gaal's style, which has been criticised by many fans and pundits as boring.

"When we picked someone like Louis Van Gaal, who has a very big ego and personality, we also picked his way of playing football," said the popular Dane, who won five Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the 1999 Champions League with United.

"It is clear that for a certain period of time, while he is rebuilding the team, we have to accept playing in a certain way which perhaps isn't the Manchester United way.

"The objective of Van Gaal's first season in charge was to get back into the Champions League and he achieved that. This season, the goal was to do better and the team are doing better.

"Although the fans keep asking the team to attack, attack, attack, they understand that they need to give Van Gaal time."

Schmeichel added: "Not being in the Champions League last season was very hurtful, as it's a massive incentive for this club to always be among the best in the world."

Schmeichel emphasised the enormity of the task United faced when Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 after 27 years as manager.

"Ferguson's interaction with individuals was his priority. He made it his mission to understand each and every person he worked with, whether they were players or staff," he said.