Louis van Gaal says the competitiveness of English football means it is unsurprising that Manchester United have not won the FA Cup in over a decade.
United face League One side Sheffield United in the third-round of the famous competition tomorrow and will be aiming to lift the trophy for the first time since 2004.
Van Gaal led United to the quarter-final stage of the competition last season and believes there are no easy ties – even against lower league opposition.
“Every match is difficult to win, no matter what level you have to compete with,” explained the Dutchman.
“I think the FA Cup is very difficult to win and we have seen that already last year when we played against Yeovil and Cambridge United.
“That’s why Manchester United did not win it for a long time, I think.
“I cannot judge the way they have lost in the last few years, but last year we lost against Arsenal, and they were the winners.”
Following a winless December, which saw United crash out of the Champions League and slip to fifth in the Premier League table, the FA Cup may represent the best chance of the Red Devils lifting silverware this campaign.
Phil Jones has been ruled out of the clash after limping off in last Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League win over Swansea City.
Ashley Young was also taken off in that game as a precaution, but is fit to face the Blades, whilst Jesse Lingard returns after five games out with a hamstring injury.
It was confirmed this week that United had come to an agreement with Borussia Dortmund to cut short Adnan Januzaj’s season-long loan with the German club.
The Belgian midfielder has been told he must prove his fitness before being recalled to the first team but Van Gaal says he is pleased to have the 20-year-old back at the club.
“Manchester United is a club who takes care of all their players,” he said.
“I think it’s a very good habit to do that and I believe in the talent of Adnan Januzaj, I have said that also, and I have said already that it would be difficult for him to play matches at Dortmund –unfortunately I was right.
“When he doesn’t play there too much, he can train better with us and maybe he can play in the first team.”
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