Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal told his players that Sunday’s 4-0 thrashing of QPR was “a new start” for the team.
United were rampant at Old Trafford, with goals from Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata destroying Harry Redknapp’s side, in a match where Radamel Falcao, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind all made their debuts.
The result is Van Gaal’s first competitive victory in charge of the club, and after a testing start to his tenure the Dutchman informed his squad that their season commences now.
He said post-match: “I said to the players, we have to make a new start, today. We start now. I now have my selection, 27 players. These will be our players for the season.
“We made four goals, and in spite of our loss against Swansea and the draws [against Sunderland & Burnley], we were the better team but we failed to make goals. Today we made goals and created chances. I’m very happy with the goals and in the second half we had a lot of chances.”
Van Gaal switched his formation to a 4-4-2, with his back line consisting of Rafael, Jonny Evans, Tyler Blackett and Rojo, but said that the decision to move from his regular 3-5-2 had been forced upon him due to injury.
He added: “I could hardly play with five defenders because [Chris] Smalling and [Phil] Jones were injured. I would have to have played a right-footed player on the right of defence.
“I was forced to play four defenders, but I know that the quality of the players allowed me to play this way.”
Van Gaal also underlined the club’s targets for the campaign ahead, stating: “Our purpose is to be in the first three, because we have to qualify for the Champions League. But the most important thing is the trajectory. We are building a process and we have to play in a certain style and we have to improve.
“At the end, I hope to be manager of the champions of the Premier League, if not this year, or next year, but I want to give the title to the fans.”
Finally the former Netherlands boss addressed the issue of how his players communicate on the pitch, with the introduction of a Spanish-speaking contingent to the club.
“All the players are learning English,” he confirmed.
“I can speak Spanish so sometimes it’s better to communicate sometimes in Spanish, but they will learn within a year they [the squad] will learn to speak English.”