Van Gaal’s verdict on vital victory

Vital victory

Yes, it’s so important that we are still in business and we keep in business by keeping the pressure on our competitors. It’s so important. I’m very happy. It’s not easy as Norwich are fighting against relegation and we have to win because we lost two points against Leicester. Now we are still in the race.

Hot stuff
The weather makes a huge difference. Last week, it was more or less cold, now it was 35 degrees. It’s hot on the players’ faces and they were very tired. But we have won, so that’s good.

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Hammers next
It’s still very tough. Now we have to play away to West Ham United and we’ve seen already in the quarter-final of the FA Cup that it’s not so easy. So we have to repeat that win. West Ham are a very good team – it’s not for nothing they’re in the top six of the table. We were lucky in the Cup. I think we deserved to win but we were lucky West Ham had a goal disallowed in the last minute.

Decision to rest Blind and Rashford
That’s always the case – that you cannot recreate your decisions. I think they needed that rest and also you have seen other players are needing a rest. But I cannot give everybody a rest and that is the problem. You have to make these decisions before the game and not after it. After the game, you can decide what you want but it’s not counting anymore. I thought Daley and Marcus needed a rest because they have played a lot of matches, nearly every match. Rashford is a youngster and he’s played the last 10 games so it’s not easy for him and he needs that rest. I wanted to give him this game off. It was already difficult before we lost Matteo Darmian and, before the match, Anthony Martial.

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Super Smalling
He was very important, of course, as he was playing against big strikers – Cameron Jerome and, after that, Dieumerci Mbokani. But also the save in the first few minutes by David De Gea was important at that moment.

Supporting Arsenal on Sunday
I’m more or less tomorrow, indeed, a Gunners fan but it will be a tough game between these kind of teams. Especially after the defeat to Real Madrid, it is not so easy for Manchester City to revive themselves.