English Premiership

LVG relishing FA Cup odyssey

2015-02-15 13:17
Louis van Gaal (Supplied)
Louis van Gaal (Supplied)

Preston - Louis van Gaal has loved every minute of Manchester United's FA Cup run this season even though he feels the "world has been against them".

Van Gaal's side travel to third tier Preston North End in the fifth round on Monday to make it a hat-trick of away ties against teams outside of English football's top two divisions.

United defeated third tier Yeovil Town in the third round before they required a replay at Old Trafford to beat fourth tier Cambridge United in the fourth round.

And even though he knows the wider football world will be once again be willing the lower league side to cause a huge upset, United manager van Gaal is still relishing the chance to be part of a classic underdogs against giants Cup story at Deepdale.

"It is a fantastic competition," Van Gaal said. "I have already described that we have to play for the third time a lower team, and you know the world is against you, the environment is against you because everyone is with the underdog.

"It is more difficult to accept but it's like that. However, the chance that you can survive is higher because you are playing against lower qualities.

"But you have to beat the team with better motivation in other circumstances and in the atmosphere where everyone is against you."

This will be their first meeting with Preston since an FA Cup fourth round tie against their fellow Lancashire club at Deepdale in February 1972.

On that occasion a United team featuring George Best, Bobby Charlton and Denis Law won 2-0 thanks to a brace from the less heralded Alan Gowling.

Van Gaal, meanwhile, continues to defend his use of England striker in Wayne Rooney in midfield, despite acknowledging the United captain is possibly the best forward he has at Old Trafford.

"He is maybe the best striker," Van Gaal added. "But I have explained a lot of times that it is not because anyone is not a good player in my selection

"You have to compare and I have to like what is the biggest contribution where a player can play, and other players also."

Preston manager Simon Grayson has urged his players to embrace the challenge of facing United's stellar names.

North End, who are fourth in League One, have won their last three matches in all competitions and Grayson wants his team to do themselves justice against the 11-times FA Cup winners.

"Our players, no disrespect to them, but they might never get another opportunity to play against the likes of Radamel Falcao, Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie," Grayson said.

"It's got to inspire them. You've got to go into a game like this and enjoy it.

"They've just got to grasp the opportunity and do what it takes to try to get a performance out them. The one thing I'll say to them before they go out is 'have no regrets'.

"They need to wake up in the morning after knowing they've done themselves justice."

Grayson is going in search of his second upset against United with a third tier club, having masterminded Leeds' 1-0 victory at Old Trafford in January 2010.

"The magic of the FA Cup is there for everyone to see," Grayson added.

"If we play to our maximum like that day, and they have an off day, then it can happen.

"We know the task we've got in hand but we've got nothing to lose and they've got everything to lose.

"There's always one shock and always a hero - hopefully it's going to be a Preston North End player."

Read more on:    manchester united  |  fa cup  |  louis van gaal  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

22 October 2016
Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur, Vitality Stadium 13:30
Arsenal v Middlesbrough, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 16:00
Swansea City v Watford, Liberty Stadium 16:00
West Ham United v Sunderland, Olympic Stadium 16:00
Hull City v Stoke City, The KC Stadium 16:00
Burnley v Everton, Turf Moor 16:00
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 18:30
23 October 2016
Manchester City v Southampton, Etihad Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Manchester United, Stamford Bridge 17:00
29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.