Van Gaal explains decision to play Young up front

Date published: Monday 11th April 2016 8:54

Louis van Gaal has defended his decision to play Ashley Young as a lone striker ahead of Anthony Martial in the defeat at Tottenham.

Young replaced Marcus Rashford at half-time at White Hart Lane, but played up front as Martial remained on the left wing in one of a number of strange calls by Van Gaal.

And United went on to collapse in the second half, as Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela all struck to fire Spurs to a 3-0 victory.

“I want more running in behind. I think we have chances to do that because they are like us an attacking side with full-backs coming up,” Van Gaal said.

“You need runners to the death, Ashley Young has done that very well in the second team. Anthony Martial is more a player who wants the ball in to his feet, so when I want runs in behind it’s better to give that to a player who is willing to do that.”

Despite the damaging defeat, which leaves the Red Devils four points behind Manchester City, Van Gaal insists his side can still finish in the top four this season.

“Every team can lose. Still we are in the race. When you lose a game then you have to close the gap again. That’s more difficult,” he told Sky Sports.

“Tottenham are a great team. Until the first goal we were a good team, who were playing good, who also had a big chance for a goal. Three-nil is a big negative result, the way we played until the first goal it was good.”

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