Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is adamant that last night's performance against West Bromwich Albion was their best of the season so far, but admitted their lack of physical presence remains a problem moving forward.
Van Gaal's side trailed twice at the Hawthorns but managed to salvage a 2-2 draw their attacking play merited, but only thanks to the introduction of Marouane Fellaini at half-time.
Fellaini was introduced to help beef up a United midfield that was struggling to make a mark in the final third despite largely controlling possession, a change that had an instant reward as the Belgian international finally slammed home his first goal for the Red Devils.
Van Gaal was very pleased with United's performance but not the result, conceding that his emphasis on giving star players creative licence to shine perhaps makes them vulnerable against sides with power in key areas.
Time for a rethink?
That claim bordered on the deluded when you consider some of the defensive deficiencies on show from the visitors, but Van Gaal is under illusions over one major flaw in the make-up of his current squad.
In his post-match press conference Van Gaal disclosed: 'We have to look also for physical talents and maybe that's our problem.
'I'm a coach who is always thinking about creative players but in England you also need physical bodies and Fellaini is one of these.'
There's no question that Fellaini had a huge impact when he replaced Ander Herrera, but United still have huge questions to answer defensively if they're primary aim of earning Champions League football is to be achieved.
The ease with which Sadio Berahino in particular scored West Brom's second has to be an issue, breaking United's high but hopeless offside trap before slotting home calmly from close range.
'Arrogant' Van Gaal still convinced United can catch Chelsea
After dropping points again away from home last night United are now 10 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea heading into Sunday's showdown at Old Trafford, but Van Gaal is adamant his track record means the Red Devils must still be considered title contenders.
'Call me arrogant but we can still catch Chelsea. I have done it before.'
That's a bold claim that definitely needs to backed up with results before United fans start to take it seriously, but this weekend's daunting clash with the unbeaten Blues represents the perfect opportunity to silence his critics in emphatic style, if the current Red Devils crop have the quality to match his lofty ambitions.
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