Van Gaal explains tactical changes against Leicester and singles out McNair for criticism

by Sid Choudhary


Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal singled out Paddy McNair for criticism, following the side’s 1-1 draw with Leicester City.

The Reds fell behind to a simple Jamie Vardy goal in the first half before Bastian Schweinsteiger equalised with a header from a corner on the stroke of half-time. It was a crucial point for Man United, given the stature of the game with Leicester the only team ahead of them on the table going into the game.

United were dominant in possession throughout the second half but were unable to break through a stubborn Leicester defence and haf to settle for a point at the King Power Stadium. A draw away from home against the league leaders would noramlly be seen as a good result but the team’s inability to convert their possession into chances frustrated fans and the manager alike.

Leicester were kept quiet in the second half, barring a chance for Leonardo Ulloa, which van Gaal lamented after the game. When asked about his change in system for the game, the manager said: “I have a lot of injuries in defence, so I was a little bit forced to do that, but I also did it because of the way Leicester play.

“I had to close the channels for Vardy and Okazaki, and that was always a reason, and we also had one man more in midfield so we had a lot of space and, because of that, we dominated the game. But we have to create more chances and we didn’t do that. We had more chances than Leicester City, but not too much.”

Speaking of the chance for Ulloa, van Gaal admitted he was disappointed with McNair’s involvement, claiming the mistake from teh young Northern Irishman could have lead to a goal.

He added: “In the first half, we didn’t dominate as much as we did in the second half. So, in the second half, I was waiting on our goal but it didn’t come. They also had a good chance; we gave the ball away because [Paddy] McNair thought he was a striker at that moment and then the channels were open and then they could run in them.”

United would have gone into the game knowing that the Foxes would be a huge threat on the counter-attack due to the pace in their side. For this reason, they would have been extremely disappointed to concede the way they did in the second half and also found themselves caught out in the second half. McNair was making his first start of the season having just come back from injury and can feel hard done by by the criticism form van Gaal, given the performances of those around him as well.

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