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Man Utd confidence ‘smashed’, says van Gaal

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By Stephen Donovan

Sunday 17 August 2014

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has said that his side’s confidence will be ‘smashed’ after they slipped to an opening day defeat at the hands of Swansea City, writes BBC Sport.

Louis van Gaal

Despite great anticipation of a new era at Old Trafford, Man Utd lacked creativity for much of the encounter despite dominating possession for long periods. As a result, Lukasz Fabianski was given very little to do on his debut for the visitors.

Playing a counter-attacking style, a fine passing move saw Swansea take the lead on 28 minutes, when Ki Sung-Yueng placed a shot into the corner of the net. Early second half pressure from United then paid off as Wayne Rooney acrobatically converted from close range following a corner to bring his side level.

Swansea then took the spoils with their first significant attack of the second half, with Wayne Routledge’s slice falling straight to Gylfi Sigurdsson, whose shot had too much power for David De Gea to keep out.

After the game, van Gaal admitted he was disappointed at the manner of the defeat. "When you have preparation, win everything, then lose your first match, it cannot be worse,’ he said. ‘We have built up a lot of confidence. It will be smashed because of this.

"In the first half I saw a lot of my players looking very nervous and making the wrong choices. The players have to get used to that expectation because this is Manchester United and they have to cope with that pressure.

"Of course I am very disappointed to lose - for the players and fans and for myself and my staff. But we have to remember this is only one of many games and nobody is champions now. You are the champions in May."

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