New Man United boss not a magician, says ex-defender

Former Manchester United defender Danny Higginbotham has urged fans of the club not to expect instant miracles from Louis van Gaal.

The Dutch manager was drafted in over the summer to replace David Moyes after a woeful 2013/14 campaign, with his experience and knowledge of the game exciting supporters.

But despite an impressive pre-season – in which the Red Devils were undefeated and beat the likes of Real Madrid and Liverpool – an opening day Premier League loss at home to Swansea has dampened the mood at the Theatre of Dreams.

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Since then there have been calls for top class arrivals, with World Cup finalist Marcos Rojo set to make his move to the club from Sporting Lisbon official soon and the likes of Arturo Vidal and Juan Cuadrado also the subject of rumours.

Higginbotham – who graduated from United’s youth set up and has represented Gibraltar three times at international level – told talkSPORT that signings are needed at his old side and that Van Gaal cannot be expected to perform magic tricks with the current squad:

“They need to improve in terms of getting players into the squad.  You have to strengthen your spine constantly.

“If you look at Chelsea, they’ve signed Costa and Fabregas. Man City have signed Fernando and Mangala. Liverpool have done it with Lovren and Lallana. So United definitely need to sign some more players.

“Van Gaal has proved he’s a very successful manager but people thought he would come in with a magic wand to right all the wrongs from last season, but it doesn’t happen.

“If you look at Saturday against Swansea, within the players there is a fear factor of playing at Old Trafford. Previously there was a fear factor from visiting teams, but now the players are nervous and they need to get that out of their system. There’s no hiding place at Old Trafford.”