Manchester United were happy to survive a difficult challenge by coming away with a 0-0 draw at fourth-tier Cambridge United in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday, said manager Louis van Gaal.
Cambridge did not manage a single shot on target but that was little comfort to the contingent of United fans who braved the cold to watch their team held in an embarrassing stalemate.
However, Van Gaal said he was happy to still be in the competition after moaning that everything went against his team as Cambridge got a deserved draw at a packed Abbey Stadium.
“We have to come here, the pitch is not so good… The opponents are always giving a lot more than normally and defending is always easier than attacking and then you have the referee,” Van Gaal told a news conference.
“I know that it’s very difficult to beat such an opponent in these circumstances… We know everything’s against us,” he added, declining to make any further comment about the performance of referee Chris Foy.
“We are still in the Cup and that is the most important thing because I have seen a lot of times that big clubs are losing against such an opponent,” said Van Gaal.
The visitors dominated the second half without managing to break the deadlock, although Van Gaal was disappointed with their display in an even first period.
“It was a pity we had to wait until halftime, but in the second half I was pleased (with the performance) but we didn’t score and I have to give also the credit to this club of course because Cambridge United played very well,” he said.
Cambridge manager Richard Money did not believe his team stood a chance of winning the replay but said the match at Old Trafford would provide a huge financial boost to the club, which Sky Sports estimated at over one million pounds ($1.50 million).
“It is going to mean an incredible massive amount, it is just mind blowing. I’m sure the chairman (Dave Doggett) wouldn’t have been very happy if we had scored in the second half with five minutes to go,” he said.
“We’ve just said in the dressing too, you are going to Old Trafford, who cares what happens. Just go and enjoy it, soak it in,” Money added, saying he had not given a thought to the possibility of winning the game.