Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United must improve their poor form away from home if they are to secure a top four finish in the Premier League.
Man United have enjoyed an excellent record at Old Trafford this term but they have suffered demoralising defeats against the likes of Stoke City and Bournemouth on the road.
Van Gaal is preparing his side to face Norwich City, who are in the midst of a relegation battle, this weekend and the Dutchman insisted that performances away from home have to improve.
“We have to win three games in a row, two away. We don’t win too many away games,” van Gaal said.
“We are second best in home wins after Leicester and 10th in away matches.
“When we want to be a champion, we have to improve in the away matches, and win first away against Norwich and then West Ham United.
“It is always difficult to fight against a team who fights to maintain their place in the Premier League – that is always very difficult. That is no excuse, we have to cope with that. They won at home, in Old Trafford, so we have to take revenge. It shall be a very tough game, but in spite of that we have to win.”
It is perplexing to watch a team who play well at home struggle on the road, with a lack of steel and determination particularly concerning.
United simply cannot afford to slip up any more if they are to secure Champions League qualification and winning all three of their remaining league games is a necessity.
Van Gaal has to take his fair share of the blame for United’s troubles away from home, as his negative, possession-based tactics are often exploited by the opposition through swift counter-attacking. The hope is that United can get on the front foot early on against Norwich on Saturday.