Manchester United stars Michael Carrick and Phil Jones believe that Louis van Gaal has been behind their recent resurgence at both domestic and international levels, reports the Manchester Evening News.
The players have been part of the Red Devils side that has beaten Liverpool and Tottenham in recent weeks, consolidating their position in the Premier League top four. They are now five points clear of Liverpool in fifth, and look in good shape to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
The pair also both started for England in their 4-0 victory over Lithuania. Jones was behind Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka in the pecking order at centre-back, and Carrick hasn’t even been in many recent squads.
Jones said of his club boss: “I think it has made me a better player for adapting to different situations at different times in the game at club level and international level. He’s (Van Gaal) a good manager. We enjoy playing for him and we’ve learned a lot from him this season.”
While Carrick added on the Dutchman: “He’s been great from the start for me. I couldn’t ask for any more from him in terms of what he’s given me, and the support and confidence to be a big part of the team. Certain situations in games, he’s helped. Not just individually, but as a unit – as a defensive unit – as a group of players. I’ve definitely learnt from him.”
Both could play in the Three Lions’ next match against Italy on Tuesday. It will be the side’s biggest test since they crashed out of the World Cup last summer.