Louis van Gaal is growing increasingly frustrated as Manchester United’s injury problems show no sign of subsiding ahead of their fixture with Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Dutch manager is particularly short in central defence where Jonny Evans, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones are all out injured – while Chris Smalling is suspended after seeing red in the Manchester derby.
The former Barcelona boss does not intend to complain but is hoping for the chance to select a consistent line-up as United seek to improve on their worst start since the 1986/87 season.
“I’m feeling lousy for everyone that we have 13 points from ten games. When I want to select the same line-up, I cannot. It’s the same every week,” said Van Gaal.
“It is like it is, the human body has been made by God – not by me, and I don’t want to complain or cry because I have great belief in the players, myself and my staff.”
United currently sit tenth in the Premier League and are four points worse off than they were at the same stage last season under David Moyes.
However, in spite of only taking one point from games with Chelsea and Manchester City, there have been signs that the Dutchman might finally have found a system that suits.
The side have began to show a balance which was severely lacking earlier in the season but the manager is keen to remind that there will be no quick fix.
“As I have said from the beginning, even when we won five games in the US, the process shall take more than one year,” added the 63-year-old.
“When you have 13 points from ten matches, you are not doing well, but we are in a process.
“It shall take three years, I hope, though that is dependent on lots of things. But I think we will make it happen, that we will win a lot of matches.”
In the short term, United face a Palace side which has lost 13 of their 17 league matches at Old Trafford and boast the league’s second worst defence, having conceded 19 goals so far.
Teenager Paddy McNair, who earned his first international call up this week, is likely to deputise once more in the centre of a heavily criticised United back line.
Michael Carrick may continue alongside the Northern Irish youngster but Van Gaal believes the defence, and the team, is not as bad as results suggest.
“I don’t agree with your opinion of the defence (that United should be concerned). If you don’t count the five goals at Leicester, we have better than Chelsea I believe,” added the United manager.
“People have great belief in what we are doing now, in the way we are playing football.”
The Old Trafford club will be hoping to turn their recent upturn in performances into a first victory in four matches.
Van Gaal will be looking for fluency but the game could be decided by a set piece; only Crystal Palace and Tottenham, both with seven, have conceded more goals from set pieces than United’s six.
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