Sunday 19 November 2017

Reds held Leicester inquest

Louis van Gaal held an inquest into Manchester United's 5-3 defeat at Leicester
Louis van Gaal held an inquest into Manchester United's 5-3 defeat at Leicester

Manchester United held a deep hour-long inquest into their dismal 5-3 defeat to Leicester, Robin van Persie has revealed.

Manager Louis van Gaal was unhappy with his team's performance at the King Power Stadium on Sunday, where they conceded four goals in the last 28 minutes, and told his squad to meet for a detailed debrief 24 hours later.

Van Persie said "confronting" views were exchanged during the meeting, which he feels was beneficial to the squad as they look to improve following their worst start to a Premier League campaign.

Nearly a week on from the capitulation, Van Persie is still at a loss to explain how United failed to win the match, which they led 3-1 thanks to his first goal of the season, and strikes from Angel di Maria and Ander Herrera.

"It shouldn't be possible, but it still happened," Van Persie told Fox Sports ahead of Saturday's home game against West Ham.

"So we have to deal with it. We had a proper look at it the next day.

"Sometimes it was a bit confronting.

"It was a really good meeting as everyone spoke up and shared their feelings.

"It was a long meeting, one hour or something meeting, but we went from there, started again this week and a couple of really good sessions in and everyone feels ready to face West Ham."

Spirits were high before the start of the season following United's successful tour of the United States, but Van Gaal has endured a poor start to life in England.

The former Ajax and Bayern Munich manager has recorded just one win so far, against relegation candidates QPR.

Defeat to West Ham would raise further questions about Van Gaal's ability to take United back into the Champions League, but Van Persie is sure his fellow Dutchman is the right man to revive the club's fortunes following the failures of David Moyes' reign.

"I think his numbers speak for themselves, he has had success everywhere he has managed," said Van Persie, who captained Holland under Van Gaal at the World Cup.

"And everyone believes in his philosophy as well.

"If you look at the players we have now, the staff, the stadium, and the fans, I am very confident for the future."

Much to Van Gaal's dismay, he has been hit by an injury crisis ahead of the visit of Sam Allardyce's side.

Summer signing Marcos Rojo is United's only fit centre-back as Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are injured while Tyler Blackett is missing through suspension.

At the other end of the pitch, Van Gaal has no such worries thanks to his summer recruitment drive.

Last week the Dutchman deployed Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and loan signing Radamel Falcao in a three-pronged attack to good effect.

Van Persie insists there is room for all three stars in the starting XI.

"We want to play together," Van Persie said.

"We are constantly talking to each other: how can we improve our game together because everyone feels together we are stronger.

"It's quite interesting to see one of these conversations because we all have the same targets. We all want to win games and to share success."

Van Persie says the poor start to the season has not had a big impact on the confidence levels within the squad.

"I don't think we have confidence issues to be honest, but you have to be realistic," he said.

"You have to know where to improve. Me, I'm 31-years-old, but I can still improve."

Press Association

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport