Manchester United’s 2-1 Premier League win over relegation-threatened Swansea City on Saturday has eased the pressure on their “angry” players, manager Louis van Gaal has said.
Saturday’s win ended United’s eight-game winless run in all competitions, which has seen them being knocked out of the group stages in the Champions League and slip out of the league’s top-four.
“I shall think that now the pressure is lowering, the performance shall be better every week. But that it also dependable on whether or not we score goals,” Van Gaal told British media.
“And when we score goals and we create always chances, then it is a big difference because a lot of journalists are saying the second-half was better. I can say that it was not better.
“It is because they are very angry that we have lost so many games in a row. They are also not used to that, I’m not used to that, losing four matches in a row.”
United are currently fifth in the league after 20 games, but find themselves nine points behind leaders Arsenal and defender Chris Smalling said they cannot afford to drop anymore points in their bid to win title for the first time since 2013.
“December was a poor month and it’s a great feeling to get that win. I think, especially in the last couple of games, we’ve fought hard and we need to kick on like we did today,” Smalling told the club website (www.manutd.com).
“As players, we knew we had to stop that run and get on the front foot. It was a good start to the year and we can’t afford any more slip-ups now, so we need to make sure we keep playing like this.”