LVG: My players have freedom
Louis van Gaal says there has been no change of approach or philosophy at Manchester United and insists he always gives his men "freedom" to play.
Speaking after a 3-1 FA Cup fourth-round win at Derby yesterday morning (Singapore time), van Gaal said: "They didn't have more freedom, they have always freedom from me.
"You want to write that but then don't ask (a) rhetorical question. For you (it is) obvious (there is) more freedom?
"No. Same philosophy, same training session the past three days. I give my players always freedom, building up attack is more freedom than defending.
"Defending I have a game plan. I am not pleased with how you are twisting my words."
Van Gaal said earlier in the week that defeat at Derby could cost him his job, but a routine win over the Rams means the under-fire United boss will spend the weekend opening up a celebratory bottle of wine instead of packing away his desk.
Goals from Wayne Rooney, Daley Blind and Juan Mata earned the Red Devils a fully deserved 3-1 win over Derby, who had equalised in the first half through George Thorne.
And van Gaal will now celebrate by opening an expensive bottle of wine - a gift from chief executive Ed Woodward after van Gaal led United to a 1-0 win over Liverpool earlier in the month.
"I come back and my wife is at home, and the wine is already open," he said.
"We drink a nice bottle of wine, probably the most expensive wine, because I have received that from Ed Woodward.
"Because I get always expensive wine when we beat an opponent of the top six. I don't want to mention the name (of the wine) because it is a little bit extravagant."
Despite the toasting of his side's success, van Gaal stopped short of heaping praise on his players, who had dominated the encounter.
Anthony Martial enjoyed one of his best performances in recent weeks, but even the France international was not immune to van Gaal's post-match analysis.
"The first 20 minutes he was very bad," he said of his summer signing from Monaco.
"Maybe you have noticed that because everyone is saying how fantastic he played, (he should be) man of the match.
"But you have to play 90 minutes good. I have said that already to him, otherwise I could not say it to you. But after that first 20 minutes, he was fantastic."
Meanwhile, Paul Clement admitted Derby were beaten by the better side on the night, but was pleased with how they offered a test to United.
"I don't think we were unlucky," the Rams boss said.
"United deserved to win the game and played well for a team that are supposed to be in disarray and lacking confidence.
"They controlled the game in terms of possession and were clinical with their movement and finishing and overall deserved it.
"But I felt our team gave them a good game. It wasn't all one-way traffic and we scored a good goal in the first half.
"I would have just liked it to have stayed at that scoreline for longer and let the belief grow and take it into the final 15 minutes and then you never know." - PA Sport.