Louis van Gaal praises Manchester United character after comeback

by Ben Topliss

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has praised his side’s character after they came from behind to beat Preston North End 3-1 in their FA Cup fifth round meeting on Monday night.

Scott Laird put the League One side in front with a deflected effort but goals from Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and Wayne Rooney sealed Man United’s progression into the quarter-finals.

It was a stirring comeback from United and Van Gaal was pleased with how his side got themselves back in the game.

Speaking about the match, van Gaal said: “I was reasonably satisfied with the first half. We didn’t give anything away and it’s always difficult in such games especially with the long balls and the fights between the central defenders and Kevin Davies.

“It’s always difficult but we only gave away one chance, I believe, in the first half. Then, in the second half, their goal was a little bit unlucky because it deflected but, after then, we showed an unbelievable team spirit again. We changed the shape and that was the solution.

“I think we scored fantastic goals also but were a little bit lucky as well. It was good, especially the second goal when [Antonio] Valencia crossed to the far post for Fellaini. I liked it very much because we trained on that a lot. I was very happy for Valencia.”

There were positives for van Gaal and United to take away from the match but a slow start contributed to a sluggish first half display.

It is yet another good result for the club however as they made it one loss in 19 games.

Fans will be hoping for better performances from United as they head into the tail end of the season but the Preston game was certainly an encouraging one for the team.

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