Monday 11 December 2017

louis: i want to win this one for the fans

Van Gaal dreaming of first derby victory

Louis van Gaal has been dreaming of claiming his first Manchester derby win this weekend.

Van Gaal lost in his first meeting with Manchester City last November when Sergio Aguero scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory for the Blues.

That was Manchester United's fourth successive loss to their neighbours, and Van Gaal is determined to avoid another reverse tomorrow, when Manuel Pellegrini's men come to Old Trafford.

''I dream of it, every player shall dream of the victory,'' the United boss said.

During his nine months in charge, assistant manager Ryan Giggs and club chef Mike Donnelly have taught the Du tchman about United's rivalries.

But if he needed a reminder of the enmity between City and United he got it this week from his wife Truus, whose hairdresser is very much a blue.


"I am not so often in the city, but when I am there, the people are talking about the derby and even when I come home my wife is saying the things they have told her about this derby," Van Gaal said.

"My wife's hairdresser is a Manchester City fan so there is a lot of discussion between these two women.

"I like it. You play football for the fans and I hope we can give our fans the victory

"Everybody is talking about this derby in the streets of Manchester.

"All the players understand the meaning of a victory and I know it also."

Bragging rights are not the only thing at stake this weekend. Victory would strengthen United's grip on third place as they would then be four points clear of their 'noisy neighbours'.

A third-placed finish would guarantee direct entry into the Champions League and that is what Van Gaal is aiming for.

''You want to win because it is a big step in the table also,'' he said.

''When you win, third place is then reachable and a month ago nobody was thinking about that, besides me, of course.

''Third is good because you are certainly qualified for the Champions League and then we do better than the goal that was set in pre-season.''

United go into the match as favourites because of their recent form.

Van Gaal's team have won five straight league matches while City have claimed victory in just two of their last seven in all competitions.

Van Gaal thinks form will have little bearing on the outcome of the derby, though.

The former Barcelona manager said: ''Manchester City has lost several games, but I don't think that shall (be) a big influence in the game because it is a special game.''

Van Gaal is not concerned about United's recent dire record against their opponents.

''That's not my history,'' he said.

''What can I say? We have lost 1-0. That is my history, the last game we played against them and we had a red card in the 39th minute, I believe.''

Chris Smalling was the man who was dismissed at the Etihad Stadium.

The England defender earned his first booking for blocking Joe Hart as he went to kick the ball out of his hands, and just before half-time he saw yellow for a second time for clumsily hacking down James Milner.

Van Gaal will remind his players they must stay on the pitch this weekend.

He added: ''In such games always you have to control your aggression and we did not do that then so I hope we have learned from that moment.''

Smalling sat out last weekend's 3-1 win over Aston Villa due to illness, but he is back in contention for the derby.

Left-back Luke Shaw, however, remains out.

As Van Gaal said last week, Robin van Persie is not fit enough to feature.

The Dutch striker returned to training this week, but Van Gaal says he lacks match practice so he would not be risked.

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