Manchester United are aiming to bounce back from their shock Champions League exit when they return to Premier League action tomorrow against Bournemouth.
The Red Devils failed to progress from the group stage after losing to Wolfsburg on Tuesday night and will now play in the Europa League from February.
United’s early exit from Europe’s elite competition has done nothing to silence Louis van Gaal’s critics, but the United boss insists he is the right man to lead the side to success.
“I don’t have any doubts about my ability,” said the Dutchman.
“You can lose and you can win in sport – you have to accept that.
“As a manager, you have to work very hard and I am working very hard as are my players.
“So the problem is that we have to meet with the expectations and the expectations at a club like United are very high.”
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand labelled the drop into the Europa League as ‘embarrassing’, but Van Gaal insists it is a competition United will be looking to win.
“For me the Europa League is a big competition and we will try to win it,” he said.
“I have already won the Europa League [UEFA Cup], with Ajax in my first season, and I was very proud of that.”
United travel to the south coast tomorrow with nine first-team regulars unavailable.
Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian are both ruled out after picking up injuries in the defeat to Wolfsburg, leaving the Red Devils with a potential inexperienced back-four of Guillermo Varela, Paddy McNair, Daley Blind and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.
Bastian Schweinsteiger will serve the first game of his three match ban following his FA charge for striking Winston Reid in the goalless draw with West Ham last Saturday.
However, Morgan Schneiderlin is available after missing the game in midweek, with Ander Herrera set to return within the next fortnight ahead of United’s hectic Christmas schedule.
The game against the Cherries tomorrow will be the first league meeting between the sides as United look to extend their unbeaten league run to eight games.
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