Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has revealed that the dressing room atmosphere has perhaps been ‘too good’ at times this season given their struggles.
Ahead of his side’s FA Cup clash with Sheffield United, the Dutchman was asked whether or not the mood had improved within the group after the win over Swansea City last time out.
The Red Devils had gone eight games without a win during a disastrous December, and Van Gaal conceded that maybe there needed to be more pressure on the players.
“I think the atmosphere in our dressing room is very good. Maybe too good because they are always protecting the dressing room, their colleagues,” he said, as reported by Sky Sports.
“That is very good, until a certain point.”
Despite gaining a reputation for having an authoritarian style of management, the former Ajax boss revealed that he has brought a more democratic perspective to Old Trafford as he asks his players for their tactical input.
While Van Gaal insists that forcing the players to consider that side of the game leads to improved commitment and conviction in what they’re doing, ultimately it will be the results that the squad pick up between now and the end of the season that determine whether or not it is a successful strategy.
United have fallen to fifth in the league standings and sit four points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, while they are nine behind leaders Arsenal.
The initial focus for the club will be on advancing in the FA Cup this weekend, but they will hope to now build some momentum ahead of their trip to Newcastle United on Tuesday night.