Bruce: Van Gaal faces ‘hard job’ at Man Utd

Former Manchester United defender Steve Bruce has said Louis van Gaal has a ‘hard job’ in prospect if he takes over at Old Trafford, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Bruce, now manager of Hull City, was the United captain under Sir Alex Ferguson for the club’s first Premier League title in 1992-93. Ferguson retired last summer and was replaced by David Moyes, but with the champions struggling in mid-table, Moyes was sacked and player-coach Ryan Giggs, a teammate of Bruce, installed.

Van Gaal is expected to be named as Moyes’ full-time successor to take the position after the World Cup, where he will take charge of the Netherlands. Bruce, whose Hull side face United on Tuesday, suggested the Dutchman will have trouble rebuilding the side.

“Everybody is saying it is going to be Van Gaal and the guy has a fantastic record in management,” Bruce said. “And when he gets it, he will be taking charge of a fantastic club. I had 10 years there and even now, 15 years after I left, I still letters from people asking about my time there.

“It is a global club and a really big job and whoever comes in is going to have to live up to the standards set by [Ferguson],” he continued. “It is a hard job, though, because time catches up with everybody and that is there to see with the players in United’s back four.

“Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have been United’s back four for almost 10 years and how do you replace them? No matter how many millions you have, it is not going to be easy to find players to come in and replace them.

“In Vidic and Ferdinand alone, you have two centre-halves with years of experience that you just cannot find easily.”

Vidic has already confirmed he will join Inter for next season while Ferdinand and Evra’s contracts expire in the summer. The future of Giggs is also up in the air and Bruce revealed he has spoken to the ex-Wales international.

“I spoke to Ryan 10 days ago,” he said. “I wished him good luck and welcomed him to the crazy side of the game. If he gets the job or not, you have to remember that Ryan has been at United all his life and he has never been fazed by anything.”

Hull face Arsenal in the FA Cup final on May 17 and have already qualified for next year’s Europa League, having only returned to the Premier League for this season.

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