Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal will be looking for more than just spectacular attacking football when his side face West Brom at the Hawthorns on Monday.
Following an international break which saw all three of the Dutch manager’s star strikers score for their countries, United enter a crucial spell in their season.
After facing the Baggies, United face Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal in quick succession and Van Gaal is aware that they must kill games off.
“I’m looking for balance, not just spectacular attacking football,” said the 63-year-old.
“When you lose the ball, you must have a shape as a team and then you can defend more easily. You can kill the game better.
“I have confidence in my players and that’s important, but it’s more important they have confidence in the manager and staff.”
United are currently in the Champions League qualification spots after winning back-to-back league games, against Everton and West Ham, for the first time this season.
Following an injury ravaged start to the season Van Gaal is moving closer to having a fully fit squad to choose from.
Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera are in contention to return on Monday night while all of United’s international cohort returned to Old Trafford injury free.
Van Gaal is pleased to see his squad return to full capacity but is fully focused on making it three straight league wins at the Hawthorns.
“West Brom are very difficult to beat, especially at their home, but there is no team in the Premier League that is easy to beat,” added the former Netherlands manager.
“We could have done better [up to this point] because I don’t think we’re balanced yet.
“The players understand the philosophy but they must perform it. We have to start with a victory after the international break.”
The win over Everton sent United in to the top four for the first time in over a year.
If they are still there in a month’s time the club will have taken a big stride towards Champions League football next season.
Main image courtesy of FIFATV via YouTube, with thanks.