New Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has bemoaned the club’s lengthy pre-season tour to the United States and said it is not helping preparations for the English domestic campaign.
United play Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Wednesday and then have at least three more matches in Denver, Washington and Detroit as part of the International Champions Cup.
They could play a fourth, in Miami on Aug. 4, if they reach the final after the matches against AS Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
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“More or less, yes,” Van Gaal told British media in the United States, when asked whether the demands were hindering his work.
“We have to prepare the season and when you have commercial activities and dreadful distances, having to fly a lot and the jet lag, it is not very positive for a good preparation.”
The former Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Ajax Amsterdam coach only took over at United this month after leading the Netherlands to third place at the World Cup.
He said he would adapt to the demands and praised the facilities in California as he put his new charges through their paces ahead of his English Premier League debut at home to Swansea City on August 16.
“The tour was already arranged and I shall adapt and United will do everything to apply to my rules, but I have said that already,” the Dutch coach said after arriving 30 minutes later to meet journalists.
“This is the first time I am late for a press conference, but it is the Los Angeles traffic, so I am sorry for that.”
Last year, United went on a lengthy pre-season tour of Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong after agreeing several commercial deals in the region.
Van Gaal said he expected United’s next tour, likely to be in Asia again, to be much shorter.
“Yes, I hope that it will be, but they (the United board)have already said that to me and I am very confident that it shall be.”