Angel di Maria struggled when playing up front for United against QPR, but Louis van Gaal insists he had to try the player in this position, having not had an opportunity to do see how he performed here in the pre-season.

He played in the 4-4-2 in the left midfield position, but in the 3-5-2 he does not play so much because he has been injured. Then he came back and I tried him as a striker because we also need pace in that position. We have to stretch the pitch – that is an important aspect of a striker, that he can stretch the pitch. Then you make the pitch bigger and your midfielders can play in a bigger space and play a better positional game than ever. So I tried that – I had to try it because I didn’t have the preparation at the beginning of the season [Di Maria joined in late August]. It is very important that the players are comfortable. I would like them to feel more comfortable, but we have to do our preparation in the season so we are doing a lot of things during the matches. Of course it is very important to win all your games but that is not possible in the Premier League. We have had a fantastic run of results, though, except Southampton at home, and up to now I am pleased. We are going the right way.