Van Gaal urges patience over Di Maria

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Di Maria yet to hit top form for United
Di Maria yet to hit top form for United

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has insisted he is not worried about the form of his £59.7m signing Angel di Maria and stressed he will need time to settle into English football.

Di Maria was taken off at half-time after his latest poor performance against Sunderland on Saturday, but Van Gaal is not concerned about his Argentine winger ahead of Wednesday night's trip to Newcastle.

"The first season is always difficult," the United boss said. "You can say it to every player we have bought: (Luke) Shaw, (Daley) Blind, (Ander) Herrera, (Radamel) Falcao and also Di Maria.

"For me it is not a big surprise, it is more a big surprise (if) he (had) adapted as quickly as possible.

"In the Netherlands, Spain and Germany I had the same experience with players.

"We have to give him time, not just for him but to all the other players.

"(The time frame) is dependable on the individual as there are so many different aspects of the game, of the match but also of the culture in the country."

Di Maria's season has been interrupted by pelvic and hamstring injuries and he also had to move out of his house last month after he and his family were subjected to a terrifying attempted burglary.

The midfielder, his wife Jorgelina Cardoso and their young daughter Mia were inside their Prestbury home last year when intruders tried to enter but they fled after the alarm was raised.

Van Gaal thinks it would be too simplistic to blame Di Maria's dip in form on the incident.

"It is easy to say that, because I cannot prove that, it is not scientifically proven and I don't want to speak about things I cannot say," he continued.

"Di Maria is not the only player who has suffered a bad day against Sunderland.

"He can be the best player in the world in the next match so I think everything is going well. He has trained very well and I don't think there is any problem."

Van Gaal will not be able to call upon Robin van Persie for the game at St James' Park and he is unlikely to risk Michael Carrick, even though he has overcome a calf problem and has trained with the squad this week.

"I think it is too early for Michael Carrick, he trained now three training sessions with us," said Van Gaal, who only put the midfielder on the bench for the 2-0 win over Sunderland because Phil Jones and Luke Shaw pulled out at the last minute through illness and injury respectively, with the duo available for the Newcastle match.