Van Gaal: Bastian Schweinsteiger can replace Wayne Rooney in crucial Champions League tie for Manchester United
German can bring leadership against Wolfsburg in absence of skipper, says manager Louis van Gaal
Bastian Schweinsteiger has been backed to fill the void left by Wayne Rooney's injury when Manchester United play Wolfsburg in a crucial Champions League meeting this week.
United will be without captain for the match on Tuesday as he is still recovering from an injured ankle. In order to progress to the knock-out phase of the tournament Louis van Gaal's side must at least match PSV Eindhoven's result at home to CSKA Moscow.
Manchester United have found goals hard to come by this season with the club involved in five goalless draws in their last nine matches. But with their often listless displays drawing the ire of their fans, Van Gaal is counting on Schweinsteiger to guide his team through a tricky tie in Germany.
"The reason why we have bought Schweinsteiger is that he is a player who can lead or guide a team. That is important - not only his football qualities - but that he can lead and guide a team on the pitch," Van Gaal told the club's website.
"I believe that every match that he plays he can play better because until now we have not seen the best Schweinsteiger that I have seen at Bayern Munich, but he can guide the team."
Since qualifying for the Champions League via a playoff against Club Bruges, United have scored five goals in five games in the competition, and Schweinsteiger has called on his team mates to be more clinical, putting their struggles down to a question of attitude.
"The players are not scared in front of goal, no. It is all about the killer instinct. We have players who have the abilities but we need it in every game," he said.
"When you are a big striker like (Cristiano) Ronaldo, (Lionel) Messi and Thomas Muller, they are all the same. It is about attitude. You need the attitude that you want to score.
"The motivation is there for Tuesday. It is a very important match for us and I know how difficult it is at Wolfsburg.
"We have to find the right tactic."
Independent News Service