LONDON: Louis van Gaal has pleaded for patience from Manchester United fans following the Old Trafford crowd's increasing demand for more attacking football.
There were audible jeers during United's 2-0 win over Sunderland last weekend, as the high-tempo game the Dutch manager is seeking to recreate remains notorious by its absence.
A chorus of 'attack, attack, attack' has accompanied back passes to goalkeeper David De Gea. Van Gaal says he appreciates and agrees with his supporters' desire for a more exciting brand of football, but also believes there needs to be greater understanding for the players' point of view as they continue their adaptation under his style.
"You have to see at that moment the solution for the players," said Van Gaal. "Sometimes the solution is to play back and sometimes there might be another solution the player has not seen. You have to give the (benefit) of the doubt to the player and you have to support him because when you make a mistake in defence, it is normally always a goal against us.
"As a fan, you have to see that. But I agree with the fans that we don't have to use the goalkeeper so much because I have seen we can play with a higher tempo without interfering with the goalkeeper. Also, the goalkeeper is the 11th player and he can accelerate our game. Sometimes the solution is via De Gea to play forward. Of course, attack is more or less the English style, but I think they (the fans) have enjoyed Manchester United playing in a possession game. It is always a mix of playing both.
"What I think is we can improve our unnecessary ball losses. When we stop losing the ball unnecessarily, then we will make a big step."
Meanwhile, Van Gaal says United fans may need to wait until next season to see the best of Angel Di Maria.Di Maria was substituted at half-time against Sunderland, and has not yet shown the form that prompted his pounds 59?million move from Real Madrid last summer.
"It counts for all the players that we bought, the first season is always difficult," said Van Gaal.
"You can see it with every player we have bought. Shaw, Blind, Herrera and Falcao and Di Maria, so it is not a big surprise. It is more a surprise if you adapt quickly."
Di Maria has not been helped by a pelvic injury, which kept him out of action for several weeks around Christmas. "How long it takes depends," added Van Gaal.
"You have to manage so many aspects. Not just the game, but the culture. The general answer is one year."