Manchester United finish seventh last season, missing out on the Champions League places.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal thinks his side are missing the added challenge of the Champions League, Goal.com reports.
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United’s hierarchy ended David Moyes reign at Old Trafford after a defeat at Everton last April, which made it mathematically impossible for the three time Champions League winners to qualify for Europe’s top club competition.
The Dutch boss believes United’s unusual absence from the tournament is having a detrimental effect on the club’s younger players, who need the challenge of playing against better players.
“I had a philosophy when I was a technical director of the Dutch Football Federation, I gave structure to the youth education, that the younger players have to play against the better players,” he told reporters.
“Then you get development of your players because they are playing better opponents. The chance is better for the players then, especially the youngsters. I think, when you are in the Champions League and it’s going well and you beat opponents, you’re getting in a flow and then it’s not so bad to play all the matches.
“Maybe in my first year here I will have more chances to train with my players. That’s probably better than all the matches, maybe, but at the end of this it’s always better to play in the Champions League and all the cups and play all the matches, because you can compare yourself with higher-level opponents.”
The former Barcelona coach also stated when he was appointed that it would take three months for all his side’s new players to gel properly but he now rejects making that prediction.
“It was very stupid to say three months because then the media are only talking about three months,” he added.
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