VIDEO: Louis van Gaal wary of ‘nasty’ flying Fox Jamie Vardy

Louis van Gaal expects Jamie Vardy will be a “nasty” problem for Manchester United to tackle when they head to Leicester this evening.
VIDEO: Louis van Gaal wary of ‘nasty’ flying Fox Jamie Vardy

Vardy will break Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in 10 straight Premier League matches if he finds the net at the King Power Stadium.

If his performance against United last year is anything to go by, he will have little trouble rewriting the history books.

The 28-year-old scored one and had a hand in the other four goals in Leicester’s 5-3 win over Van Gaal’s team 14 months ago.

United’s defence has improved greatly since then, but Van Gaal is aware of the threat Vardy will pose to his team.

Van Gaal described Vardy as a “nasty” and “great” player who he also likened to former Arsenal and Ajax great Dennis Bergkamp, and to Ruud van Nistelrooy, who jointly holds the record with Vardy at the moment..

“Vardy was last season a very nasty player for us,’’ the United manager said.

‘’He scored, won a penalty, and now he is scoring 10 games in a row, then you are a great player.

“I only know Dennis Bergkamp as a player who did the same with Ajax. It’s not so easy to do that.

“More or less, Van Nistelrooy is like Vardy. He is highly concentrated to make goals and is always running in behind, so you can compare them.”

When asked whether he would consider signing Vardy, Van Gaal gave a terse reply, saying: “That is not your business, I think.’’

There was little will from Van Gaal to discuss last year’s eight-goal thriller, in which United held a two-goal lead twice before going down 5-3.

“ don’t want to remember that game especially, because of the result but also the way we lost wasn’t good,’’ Van Gaal said.

The Dutchman was more forthcoming when asked about Leicester’s title chances, however.

Van Gaal believes the league leaders, who are one point above United, are capable of sustaining their title challenge until the end of the campaign.

“It is possible, I think,’’ Van Gaal said.

“Normally these kind of clubs can be a long time competing, but normally at the end it’s more difficult.

“But in England because of the quality of the teams, because every team has the money to buy players — and they have bought players — the difference in the Premier League between the clubs in level is not so high.’’

United recovered from the defeat at Leicester to qualify for the Champions League last term, but expectations have grown since. Despite being second in the Premier League after 13 matches, some United fans are unhappy with the style of football being played under Van Gaal.

Dissenting voices were heard again on Wednesday when United put their Champions League last 16 place in jeopardy with a 0-0 draw in their penultimate group game against PSV Eindhoven.

When asked whether he was worried about criticism from supporters, Van Gaal said: “Because the fans have to be happy, you are playing for the fans so you cannot deny that. But also you have to see how our opponents are playing against us, and when you see how they play, you know the difficulty of organising against that type of opponent.

“We are still not lucky in finishing the chances. We are creating chances, and when we are not creating, then maybe I am worried. ’But we are not giving much away. That is why we are second in the league and in our Champions League group.’’

Van Gaal will be without Ander Herrera, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia this evening while James Wilson has been loaned to Championship leaders Brighton. Van Gaal insists the academy graduate still has a future at the club.

“I can imagine that fans are saying that this is ridiculous, they have difficulties to score, but that is a short-term thought,” Van Gaal said.

“We have to think what is better for a player like Wilson at the moment. He does not have too many possibilities to play on a higher level. We believe in him so he has to develop elsewhere. If we need him, we can call him back.”

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri reckons boss Van Gaal will get it right at Old Trafford and they have already improved under him.

He said: “Van Gaal has played (managed) a lot of fantastic teams, I remember I watched his training sessions at Ajax a long time ago when we were young. I remember playing him at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. He is a fantastic manager. My respect for him is very big.

“Slowly, slowly they are getting better, building, he’ll get it right. Look at difference from last season, they are improving all time. His defensive line is fantastic, it is very difficult to break their lines.”

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