Football

'No more excuses not to perform'

Van Gaal says United players now understand his football philosophy

Perform or else...

Louis van Gaal has issued a warning to his Manchester United players that he expects to finish the season on a high.

The Red Devils struggled under the Dutchman (photo) in the early part of the season, but two recent performances have convinced the 63-year-old that they now fully understand his football philosophy, reported the Mirror.

The 3-0 win over Tottenham and a 2-1 triumph at arch-rivals Liverpool showed that United's players have finally adapted to what van Gaal wants from them and he has demanded their standard does not drop.

"I think the players know everything about the philosophy, but now they have to perform," said van Gaal in a MUTV documentary aired on Monday.

"I was a slow player so I had to think very quickly. That's why I developed a tactical level that suits me now as a trainer coach."

Van Gaal compared United's early struggles to adapt to his methods with his own efforts to get used to driving on the left side of the road in England.

"It's like somebody coming to England like Louis van Gaal who has to drive with the steering at the other side," said van Gaal.

"You have to learn that. I could have forced many accidents, but I was fortunate I didn't do that.

"I was lucky but it was always going better, so I don't have to warn people in my neighbourhood."

Van Gaal has also denied that he is a "dictator", insisting that he is "very flexible".

He said: "(People) are always thinking I am a boss, maybe a dictator. I am not like that. I am a very flexible man. My wife does know that."

United skipper Wayne Rooney, speaking in the same MUTV documentary as van Gaal, praised his manager.

Said Rooney: "His door is always open. You can speak to him about things other than football and he's a really nice guy." - Wire Services.