Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


LVG still hopeful of title charge

29 December 2014, 07:10

London - Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United are still in the Premier League title race despite missing a chance to close the gap on the top two.

Van Gaal's side paid the price for their failure to convert a number of first half chances when they were held to a 0-0 draw at Tottenham on Sunday.

That meant they stay 10 points behind Chelsea, who were held by Southampton, and seven adrift of second placed Manchester City, who were also frustrated in a draw with struggling Burnley.

Van Gaal admits his side cannot afford a repeat of this wasteful display.

But he is confident United are improving and capable of reeling in Chelsea and City during the second half of the season.

"When you cannot win such type of matches when (you are the) better team -- like against (Aston) Villa and also now -- then it is very difficult to be the champions at the end of the season," Van Gaal said.

But asked if he still believed his side could be champions, he said: "Still, because we are improving every week.

"Of course, of course, we shall be better in 2015. So watch."

Van Gaal claimed it was impossible for his injury-hit squad to maintain top form having beaten Newcastle 3-1 just two days earlier.

"When you play your best first half of the season as Manchester United and you are playing in White Hart Lane and playing a top six club and you play like that and create six to eight open chances then you have to finish them," he said.

"If you don't reward yourself, normally the opponent wins.

"You could see also the difference in the second half. It was not football anymore and a struggle for life.

"I have said already a month ago. It is scientifically proven that (the) body cannot recover in 48 hours.

"When the Premier League allow that to play matches you see what it is like, the second half is much different to the first.

"Not only for Manchester United but also Tottenham Hotspur. I think Tottenham could have played much better than today.

"Manchester united could also, in the second half, have played much better. But you cannot do that in the second half."

- Signs of progress -

Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris kept his side in the game during the first half but United's David De Gea was prominent after the break.

United survived late Spurs pressure to maintain a clean sheet and Van Gaal believes that is another sign of his side's progress.

"I asked David de Gea how many clean sheets he had and now he has six already," he said.

"So maybe now you will remember what some people said at the beginning of the season. It is a matter of organisation I think."

Meanwhile, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino acknowledged the demands of playing two games in quick succession, but refused to complain.

"The condition was for both teams the same. We never complain about when the opponent has the same condition as you," he said.

"For Tottenham, from the beginning of the season, is the team that has had less recovery days in every competition.

"I never complain about that. I think Manchester had the same hours to recover as us.

"We showed we are more solid as a team. It is true in (the) first half they had most chances but in the end the result is fair.

"Lloris is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and I repeat that every week. That's not new for me.

"The clean sheet is important. I think that always you need to improve. But I am happy with the performance.

"I am very pleased because the players made a big effort today less than 48 hours after playing again. Therefore I think the effort was great."



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...