Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has expressed disappointment with his team's lack of finishing and claimed it was the main reason they are not in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup. The Red Devils lost on penalties to Middlesbrough on Wednesday night (28 October) after the score remained 0-0 after extra time. Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Ashley young missed their penalties to hand the Riverside Stadium outfit a quarter-finals berth against Everton.
The Dutchman made nine changes to the team that drew with Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday (25 October), but it was a similar performance, with the attackers unable to put enough pressure on the Middlesbrough backline to score a goal. James Wilson was given a chance to impress, but the striker failed to meet expectations, and it is unlikely he will nail down a place in the starting XI anytime soon. Memphis Depay returned to the team after finding himself on the bench in recent matches, but he too failed to impress.
The Dutch manager brought on Rooney at half-time and Anthony Martial on 71 minutes, but the duo could not engineer a goal, with Jesse Lingard coming closest, when he hit the crossbar. The 20-time English champions had six shots on target, the same number as their opponents, but almost double the number of attempts on goal.
Van Gaal was frustrated to see the number of chances being wasted, and believes that his side have to improve in order to win games. The manager feels that in both games against City and Middlesbrough the Red Devils were unlucky not to score, but rather than blaming their lack of luck, he believes it has to be forced at times.
"We are very disappointed. We could have finished so many of our chances so easily, and we didn't do it, so it's very disappointing," Van Gaal told United's official site.
"We have to solve this problem. Against Manchester City, we had more chances than City and we have to finish one of those chances. We didn't create so much against City as we did today but we have to finish. A lot of players were in finishing circumstances and didn't do it. Not one player but more players so that's a little bit frustrating. But it's like that and we have to continue," he explained.
"Last year, we were out of this cup already, in the first match, 4-0 [lost to Milton Keynes Dons]. Now we are in the final 16 and we had to win. But, okay, we were not lucky. I have to say you have to force the luck. Against Manchester City, we were also not lucky but I cannot repeat that every week that we're not lucky. You have to force the luck," the former Bayern Munich manager added.