Van Gaal: De Gea saga made dressing room flat

The Dutchman denied his troops were unhappy with his rigorous training regimen, insisting that they had simply been affected by their team-mate’s situation

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has said the dressing room was “flat” because of the transfer sagas surrounding goalkeepers David de Gea and Victor Valdes – and not his methods.

It emerged on Wednesday that senior members of the playing staff, including Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick, had gone to Van Gaal to express their concerns about certain issues that had been affecting the morale of the squad.

It was reported that the players were unhappy with the Dutchman’s rigorous training methods but the 64-year-old coach claimed on Friday that his troops had been negatively affected by the transfer disputes involving Valdes and De Gea.

“We had problems with Valdes, then we had problems with the transfer of De Gea, who has a great influence in the dressing room, which is why it was flat,” Van Gaal told reporters on Friday.

“But I am pleased that they come to me and say that to me, then I can communicate about that and then we can change or not change.

“It’s a positive thing that the players are coming to me and not only Carrick or Rooney, other players. But it was Carrick and Rooney and that was alarming for me because they are the captains.

“But all the players are communicating with me. They are coming to my office. Believe me, it is like that. I am not a dictator, I am a communicator.”

The former Barcelona and Netherlands coach admitted that while he took the feelings of his players on board, there was no need for any dramatic changes to his methods or match tactics.

“I have changed the way that I [draw up] the game plan to them,” he explained to a media conference.

“Now I ask in advance and they can say what they want. Most of the strategy is always the same because they like the way we have done it.”

The Red Devils face Liverpool on Saturday and Van Gaal has admitted that De Gea could be set to return in goal, with the Spain international having signed a new contract with United, after being on the verge of joining Real Madrid on deadline.

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