Blind: Back ‘winner’ van Gaal

Van Gaal was forced to defend his tactics at the weekend after he started with a 3-5-2 at QPR and watched United struggle, prompting chants of “4-4-2” and “attack, attack, attack” from the travelling support.

United went on to win 2-0 and remain in fourth, but only after their manager switched to a four-man defence, and van Gaal afterwards conceded he is battling to balance the team.

Complaints over van Gaal’s tactics are familiar to Blind, who was part of a Holland team that finished third at the World Cup despite criticism from some of the country’s football greats.

He said: “(Van Gaal) makes players better and he makes teams better. I like that in a coach. That is his most important asset. It was the same when I was with him with Holland. He wanted to make the team better. As the team gets better, individuals started standing out as well.

“We didn’t play very great football at the World Cup but we were a team and we??were winning games, and we started playing better after winning. You change the system and you get better, you become a team and you start winning.

“If you have played another system for a long time, you have to get used to a??new one but that isn’t a problem. We knew it was going to be difficult in the Premier League but we have to keep our heads up. We have to keep faith.”

United great Gary Neville, in his role as a Sports analyst, has called on United to take more risks with the ball, and Blind has in the past been accused of being too conservative in his passing.

“I can take a bit of criticism. The people on television can say what they??want,” Blind said. “You hear it, but I think I have played some good games. Of course you can sometimes play the ball forward but sometimes it is good to keep the ball in possession and make your team-mates play better.

“I can make other players more important than myself. If I can do that by??switching the play to the other side or wait for the right moment to do that??then I will. If there is space forward then I will play that ball but sometimes I think it is better to keep possession.

“Of course, I listen to him (Gary Neville) but I try to play my own game and??do what the trainer wants from me, and that is to keep possession.”