Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal admits that his side’s progress is being hindered by a lack of composure in front of goal.
The Red Devils were dumped out of the Capital One Cup by Championship club Middlesbrough on Wednesday night, with the Teessiders going through 3-1 on penalties as the game ended 0-0 after 120 minutes.
The Old Trafford outfit currently sit fourth in the Premier League standings, but have only scored 15 goals from 10 top-flight games while winning just one of their last three matches.
A good cup run might have helped boost the players’ confidence although it was not to be, with Middlesbrough now going on to play Everton in the quarter-finals of the competition.
It will be back to the bread and butter of the league next for Van Gaal’s charges, with a trip to Selhurst Park to play Crystal Palace on Saturday, and the Dutch boss has clearly become irked by what he is seeing week in, week out.
“We have to solve this problem. We have to start finishing chances,” he told reporters after the defeat to Boro. “We also had more chances than our opponents against Manchester City, but you have to finish them. We have now created more than against City, but you have to score.”
The veteran tactician felt that Aitor Karanka’s side were lucky to progress, but also sounded a note to his own men that “you cannot say each week that you were unlucky.”
United are 2.10 to beat Palace, who can be backed at 3.60 to take all three points.