Louis Van Gaal said he feels "lousy" at the start made by Manchester United this season, even worse than the one under David Moyes. The manager and his players will now look to turn that "lousy" feeling into a more positive one when Manchester United host Crystal Palace in their English Premier League game at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal has struggled to inculcate any sort of consistency in his team, particularly his defence, due to injuries, but even taking that into consideration, Manchester United's start to the Premier League season has been pretty poor.
Thirteen points in the first ten games is pretty below par, and 13 points already separate them from league leaders Chelsea. While a title challenge looks way too far to even consider at the moment, Manchester United will look to slowly but surely move towards that top four place, and a victory against Crystal Palace will be a good start.
"It's not good enough," said Van Gaal when asked about his club's start to the season. "I feel myself very lousy for the fans in the first place, and also the board because they have a great belief in me, my staff and my players.
"I think every opponent in the Premier League is very difficult to beat and we have seen that. We have 13 points out of 10 matches and that is below everything that we had expected, and what the fans had expected."
Those injury and suspension issues have only mounted with Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling, the central defensive pair who started the game against Manchester City last weekend, ruled out. Rojo dislocated his shoulder and will be out for a few weeks, while Smalling is suspended after picking up that stupid red card in the 1-0 loss.
Manchester United have tightened up a little at the back, despite all the injury issues, conceding just two goals in their last two games against high-quality opposition, and that is largely down to the slight tweak in formation, with Van Gaal deciding to play with the one man up top rather than two.
"With the other system, I could play with two strikers but then the balance was gone," added Van Gaal, who will also be without Jonny Evans, Phil Jones, Rafael, Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard and Radamel Falcao on Saturday. "We had difficulties in the last half-an-hour.
"That is why I have remodelled the structure. Since that game [Everton], we have had fewer goals in favour but also fewer goals against. And we have played against the better teams in the Premier League on an equal level, more or less."
Manchester United should be able to score goals and come away with three points against Crystal Palace, though, considering the fact that Neil Warnock's men are winless in their last four Premier League games.
The latest reverse for Palace came at the hands of Sunderland on Monday night, and Warnock, who will have to do without the services of skipper Mile Jedinak due to suspension, will want to stop the winless run as soon as possible, and what better way to do that than with a famous win at Old Trafford.
Where to Watch Live
The game is set for an 8.30 pm IST (3 pm GMT, 11 am ET) start with live coverage on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD1 in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India on StarSports.com.
There will be no TV coverage in the UK, but viewers can listen to the action live on BBC Radio Five Live or BBC Radio Five Live Online. Watch the action in the US on NBC Sports, while the game can also be Live Streamed online NBC Sports Extra.
Australia viewers can Live Stream the action on Fox Sports On Demand, while viewers in Canada can do the same on TSN Live. Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can watch the match via Live Streaming online courtesy Bein Sports Connect, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can do the same via SuperSport online.
Expected lineups: Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Carrick, McNair, Shaw; Di Maria, Blind, Fellaini, Januzaj; Rooney; Van Persie.
Crystal Palace: Speroni; Kelly, Dann, Delaney, Ward; McArthur, Ledley; Puncheon, Chamakh, Bolasie; Campbell.