Our season starts here, says Van Gaal
Van Gaal defends his players and believes United can end goal drought against Moscow
Louis van Gaal believes that tomorrow's Champions League battle with CKSA Moscow is Manchester United's chance to turn their season around.
A 0-0 draw at home to Crystal Palace was the Old Trafford side's third successive game without a goal, the first time in 11 years that the side have played out three successive scoreless draws.
Tomorrow at Old Trafford they have a confident CSKA side who dew 1-1 at home to United last month and who extended their lead at the top of the Russian league table with a 2-0 win before their departure to Manchester last night.
Van Gaal admits that his side need a win to stay in contention in the Champions League and stave off an early exit but he denies that United's players now have a mental block due to their goal-less streak.
"I cannot see that," he says. "When I see their characters, I don't think they have doubts about that quality. It can change in one match - let that be CSKA, because we need a victory.
"I have to hope we score against Moscow again because then we are talking in a different way."
CSKA boss Leonid Slutsky, who was touted as a possible successor to the under-fire Jose Mourinho over the weekend, has played down United's recent form.
"You can't say that a team with such quality footballers is weak.
United have had chances in their games, they just didn't take them," he said.