After playing a key role in a brilliant victory over your bitter rivals, you’d expect some sort of praise from your manager.
But, despite an impressive midfield display from Morgan Schneiderlin for Manchester United against Manchester City on Sunday, his manager Louis van Gaal was extremely reluctant to appreciate him.
It wasn’t because the Dutchman didn’t rate the performance of the 26-year-old but because of what happened the last time he raved about him.
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Louis van Gaal’s side were considered massive underdogs for the clash at the Etihad on Sunday.
However, Marcus Rashford’s first-half strike gave United a lead that they kept for the remaining 74 minutes.
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While Rashford hit the headlines, Schneiderlin produced a complete performance, rarely giving the ball away and shielding the defence effectively.
But Van Gaal wasn’t prepared to give praise to the Frenchman after the match.
"I don’t have to say that too loud because the last time I said I am very happy for Morgan Schneiderlin, after that he played not so well,” Van Gaal told reporters, per the Manchester Evening News.
The beleaguered boss did go on to say some positive words about Schneiderlin's performance but hinted that he was only included in the starting XI due to having to rotate Marouane Fellaini.
"Today he played a very good match. He was a lot of times available to receive the pass but also defensively was very firm and strict and he played also a very important position in midfield. I was very happy especially because I had to rotate. Fellaini could not play the fourth game in a row,” he said.
Schneiderlin signed from Southampton last summer for £24 million but has struggled to play regularly at Old Trafford this season. The central midfielder has played just 19 times in the league, struggling with injury niggles and being used as a rotation option by Van Gaal.
United’s brilliant victory over City means they now have a fantastic opportunity to qualify for next season’s Champions League by finishing in the top four.
They are just one point behind Sunday’s opponents whilst they are level on points with West Ham.
Van Gaal’s side have been disappointing throughout the majority of this campaign but if they can finish above their City rivals, United fans will be satisfied with their season.
There has been plenty of speculation to suggest Jose Mourino will take over from Van Gaal in the summer but a fourth placed finish may be enough to save his job.
But that isn’t United’s and Van Gaal's only aim for the remainder of the season. The Red Devils are still in the FA Cup and face a quarter-final replay against West Ham after a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
If United do triumph over the Hammers, they will face a semi-final against Everton at Wembley.
Should Louis van Gaal stay as Manchester United manager if they come fourth and win the FA Cup? Let us know in the comments box below!
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