Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says the club will be aiming to win the second-tier Europa League after they dropped down from the elite Champions League on Tuesday.
“We are now in the Europa League so now we have to win it,” Van Gaal told reports on Friday during his press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League fixture at Bournemouth.
“That is not easy. I can say that in advance but nobody hears me. They don’t want to hear me because a club like United has to win.
“Just the Europa League? You think it’s ‘just’? I’m not thinking like that.
“I have already won the Europa League [UEFA Cup], with Ajax in my first season, and I was very proud of that.
“For me, the Europa League is a big competition and we will try to win it.”
Asked about United assistant boss Ryan Giggs, who has been heavily linked with the vacant Swansea job, Van Gaal said: “First I have to speak to Ryan Giggs by himself if it’s true.
“And [in that case], he’s coming to me. I never read papers and I think that it’s the truth. I’m sorry.”
Despite losing to Wolsfburg in midweek and winn8ng only two of six Champions League matches, Van Gaal claims there were a lot of positives from United’s unsuccessful campaign.
“I think the way you have to analyse is always the way, then I think you can also see there were a lot of positive things,” said Van Gaal.
“But when you don’t want I see that, then that’s not my problem. Everybody knows what is happening at this moment with Manchester United and what happened in the group.
“I can say all the things, but I don’t want to defend myself. I work hard, my players work hard, now we are in the Europa League and we have to work hard to win that.”
The Dutchman insists he has strong self-belief in spite of many questioning his competence.
He said: “No doubts. I don’t have any (in my own abilities). You can lose and win in sport, you have to accept it. I am working very hard to do what we can do. The problem is that we have to meet with the expectation. At a club like Man United they are very high.”
Van Gaal told MUTV eight players are out injured with Bastian Schweinsteiger suspended.
Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling are added to the previous list.
Van Gaal hpwever revealed that Morgan Schneiderlin is coming back and believes Smalling, Herrera and Darmian will return before Christmas.
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