Louis van Gaal is aiming to strike a physical balance in his team after Manchester United’s 2-2 Premier League draw at West Bromwich Albion.
United twice fought back from behind on Monday evening, with maiden goals from midfield duo Marouane Fellaini and Daley Blind securing a hard-earned point.
And Van Gaal believes that second-half substitute Fellaini – judged a £27million flop after a sluggish first season at Old Trafford – gave his side the ideal balance after a tepid first-half display.
“I decided to bring him [Fellaini] on at half-time after about 30 minutes,” Van Gaal told Sky Sports.
“I am looking for balance like I said after [United’s victory over] Everton. We have to look for a physical balance.
“Maybe that’s our problem. I’m a coach who is always looking for creativity, but sometimes in England you need physical bodies and Fellaini is one of these.”
The Reds were once again slow out of the blocks at The Hawthorns, with Alan Irvine’s hosts taking an early lead through Stéphane Sessègnon’s sublime seventh minute strike.
Never one to avoid decisive action, Van Gaal introduced Fellaini in place of the ineffectual Ander Herrera in the heart of United’s midfield.
And the Belgian rewarded him just three minutes after the restart, expertly chesting down Angel Di Maria’s cross before firing a viscous effort into the top corner.
However, Saido Berahino restored West Brom’s lead soon after following shambolic United defending.
Despite sustained pressure from the visitors, The Baggies looked to have wrapped up the three points until summer signing Blind notched an 87th minute equaliser with a cool finish from outside the box.
United now face the daunting prospect of José Mourinho’s high-flying Chelsea visiting Old Trafford before the Manchester derby a week later.
But Van Gaal is confident that his side will be up for the fight as they grow accustomed to the new system, despite only earning 12 points from their first eight games.
“Twelve points out of eight games is not too good. When we see the games normally we are the better team,” the Dutchman added.
“I’m very disappointed [with the West Brom result] because we played our best match of the season.
“We could’ve won but I’m happy because we created a lot of chances but the players don’t have the result that they deserve.
“With this formation, the players are understanding the philosophy, so I have a lot of confidence in upcoming games.”
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