Manchester United's Van Gaal eager for first away success at West Brom

AFP, Monday 20 Oct 2014

Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal (Photo: Reuters)

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes his team's away form is better than their record suggests as they look for a first win on the road at West Bromwich Albion on Monday.

United have taken just two points from their opening three Premier League games away from Old Trafford this season and threw away a two-goal lead to lose 5-3 at Leicester on their last trip almost a month ago.

But Van Gaal, whose side have recovered from a poor start to the season to climb to fifth place in the table ahead of Sunday's matches, claims the points they have amassed on their travels are not a true reflection of the way they have performed.

"We played very good at Leicester City," the Dutchman said. "We gave it away by certain circumstances -- you can remember that.

"But the other matches, we played two draws and we could have also won those matches," Van Gaal added.

"We were the better team, we created chances but we didn't score," he said. "So we have to wait and see if that tendency is going through.

"When it is not, OK it is not, but we have to wait and see if that is true. We start on Monday against West Bromwich Albion with a victory I hope."

United have also dropped points away from home this season at Sunderland and Burnley, and may not find it straight-forward at the Hawthorns, even though Albion are in sight of the relegation zone.

- Difficult West Brom -

The Midlands club beat Burnley 4-0 in their most recent home game and their only defeat in four matches was a 2-1 loss at Liverpool just before the international break.

"I think West Brom are very difficult to beat, especially at their home,” Van Gaal added. "They are dangerous opponents. But no opponent in the Premier League is easy to beat.

"We have to start with a victory after the international break because we have won the last two games.

"But West Brom did that too (recently), so they also want to win the match. It won't be easy.”

United have been helped lately by an easing of their injury problems.

After missing up to 10 players at various stages in the early weeks of the season, only Antonio Valencia (hamstring), Jonny Evans (ankle), Paddy McNair (hamstring) and Jesse Lingard (knee) are unavailable for Monday's match, along with captain Wayne Rooney, who will be serving the second of a three-match ban.

Meanwhile, West Brom boss Alan Irvine has said only an offer well in excess of £15 million ($24 million, 19 million euros) would be enough to persuade them to sell Saido Berahino.

The 21-year-old forward has starred for club and country so far this season with five goals for the Baggies in addition to reaching double figures for England's Under-21s en route to qualification for next year's European Championship.

Several of England's elite clubs have been linked with Berahino -- Tottenham Hotspur being the latest -- and Albion have by no means discouraged bids after Irvine recently admitted they would be prepared to cash in if the price was right.

But he said: "I would be absolutely astonished if anyone could sign Saido from us for £15 million.

"It doesn't sound a lot. You look at some of the fees going around in the transfer market that's just been, everybody seems to start at £7 million.

"Ross McCormack went for £11 million from one Championship club (Leeds) to another (Fulham).

"To me, £15 million doesn't sound like a lot of money for a talented, young, English player."

Chris Brunt (groin) has not trained since returning from Northern Ireland duty but is expected to be passed fit, however Silvestre Varela (groin) remains sidelined and Claudio Yacob will miss the game for personal reasons.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: