Manchester United’s new manager Dutchman Louis van Gaal has admitted his team’s confidence will have been “smashed” after having lost the first game of the season 1-2 at home to Swansea.
Previously the Red Devils had won all six of their pre-season friendlies with new man van Gaal in charge.
Van Gaal told the BBC: “When you have preparation, win everything, then lose your first match, it cannot be worse.
“We have built up a lot of confidence. It will be smashed because of this.”
Speaking about the task at hand for van Gaal, former Netherlands international Ruud Gullit said:
“Van Gaal has a big job. The Premier League is different. You can see during the game the United players were thinking about where they had to be. When he played 3-5-2 for the Netherlands it was necessity because we had bad defenders. If you were a Swansea player would you have been afraid of that line-up?”
When asked if yesterday’s performance would force him to step up his efforts in making new signings before the transfer window closes van Gaal said: “Yes, I need new faces but I thought that before this match anyway.”
“When we were playing in the United States I thought the same. I know the positions where we need better players.”
“Every club where I have been, I’ve struggled for the first three months,” he said. “After that, the players know what I want. I am very direct. I say things as they are so you have to adapt to that way of coaching. It’s not so easy.”
He also brushed aside questions that the defeat highlights what a difficult task he faces in order to get United back into the top-four.
“I have said before that I know how big a job I face here,” Van Gaal explained.
“Our wins in the United States and against Valencia meant that the expectation was so high.
“In the first half I saw a lot of my players looking very nervous and making the wrong choices. The players have to get used to that expectation because this is Manchester United and they have to cope with that pressure.
“Of course I am very disappointed to lose – for the players and fans and for myself and my staff.
“But we have to remember this is only one of many games and nobody is champions now. You are the champions in May.”