Anxious Van Gaal awaits Premier League

United manager wants players to shift focus from win over Liverpool.

Afp August 05, 2014

MIAMI: Despite Manchester United ending their US pre-season tour on a high with a 3-1 triumph over rivals Liverpool, manager Louis van Gaal is more concerned about the Premier League getting underway on August 16.

In the final of the International Champions Cup friendly tournament, Van Gaal’s men overturned an early Steven Gerrard penalty to claim victory through second-half goals from Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard.

Although the gruff Van Gaal was pleased with the victory, he was already focused firmly on August 16 and Swansea’s visit to Old Trafford in their Premier League opener.

“It’s nice for the fans in the US and also at home that we beat Liverpool,” he said. “I think we gave a lot of pleasure to the fans and that’s very important.

“Of course, it’s better to win than to lose in pre-season, but the most important game is against Swansea City. That’s the one we have to win.”

Rooney captained Manchester United for the first time on the tour.

“It’s obviously great to win the game and win the tournament,” said Rooney. “We’ve worked hard in the pre-season.”

While Liverpool were unable to put a final gloss to their campaign, manager Brendan Rodgers was pleased overall with his side’s North American tour.

“I thought it was an excellent run-out for us,” he said. “Obviously we’re disappointed to lose the game, but it’s been a great trip for us.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2014.

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