London: New Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal said he believes he can meet the expectations for success at “the biggest club in the world” but refused to indulge in predictions when he was introduced to the media at Old Trafford yesterday.
The Dutchman, smiling and looking relaxed after arriving from his stint as Netherlands manager at the World Cup, also made it clear that the commercial demands at United would make his job harder.
“I’m now two days here,” Van Gaal, 62, told reporters. “I’ve met a lot of people, and when you see that kind of people loving the club they expect a lot of me.
“Can I fulfil that expectation? I think I can, but because of the greatness of this club it is much more difficult than in another club.
“This club is also guided in a commercial way and we have to fulfil that also, but it is not always possible to fulfil both.
“I will do my utmost best. That’s what I can give. I cannot give predictions.”
Van Gaal added: “I cannot give predictions because you never know. It’s the biggest club in the world. Within two days I know already how important Manchester United is but also how important the sponsors are.
“I have to adapt to this big club. It will not be easy but you can see what I have won.”
The club’s players had a taste of van Gaal’s methods after the new manager ordered double training sessions just two days into the pre-season.
Van Gaal was given a tour of the Carrington training facility by his new assistants, recently-retired United star Ryan Giggs, and Albert Stuivenberg.
The Dutchman introduced himself to the players individually but it is understood that he is waiting for the return of those enjoying post-World Cup breaks, including striker Wayne Rooney, before he addresses the squad as a whole.
Van Gaal, 62, a noted disciplinarian, has been asked to make United a force again after last season’s disappointing campaign under David Moyes in which they finished seventh.
The Manchester United squad, containing new signings Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, who were brought at a combined cost of £56 million, depart for the US for a pre-season tour today.
Van Gaal, who has won titles with Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AZ Alkmaar, will take charge of a United match for the first time on July 23 against the Los Angeles Galaxy.