Dyche: United need time to adapt
Burnley manager Sean Dyche believes it will take time for Manchester United to adapt to Louis van Gaal's 3-5-2 formation because it is so "radical."
Van Gaal takes United to Turf Moor on Saturday hoping to win his first match at the fourth time of asking against Dyche's winless Clarets.
Failure to do so would provide further gloom around Old Trafford, with the initial optimism which surrounded Van Gaal's appointment quickly dissipating following defeats to Swansea and MK Dons and a draw at Sunderland last Sunday.
Dyche does not subscribe to the theory that United are in turmoil, though, and insists it will take time for players to get to grips with their Dutch manager's ideology.
"I think the word 'crisis' is harsh looking at their players," said Dyche.
"They've got some fine players. With tactical formats, I do think the 3-5-2 is the most radical change so it takes time for that to work. The power of Manchester United and the market means he may have ideas and designs over the next few days to get certain players who can do roles he feels that are not being done as well.
"I don't know him, I've never worked with anyone who knows him. It will be interesting to have a coffee with him and ask him (about 3-5-2).
"I don't know whether I'd get that chance but I would be interested in that. I'm a young manager learning and I'm always interested to hear what they have to say. If we do get that time I will ask him.
"From the outside it looks like he's strong in that philosophy, he believes it can work and he's going to mould the team accordingly and possibly add to it as he sees fit."
United smashed the British transfer record to sign Argentina forward Angel di Maria for B#59.7million from Real Madrid earlier this week, but it remains to be seen which position Van Gaal will utilise him in at Turf Moor.
"It would be brilliant if he plays on the bench or in the stand," joked former Watford boss Dyche.
"He's a fine player. It's very rare that astronomical fees are paid for players that are not at the top end of the market. I think he could fill a number of positions.
"Who knows? He might have one up his sleeve where he changes. He might feel that tactically it's time to change or it's appropriate for this game.
"It's a new face, a new player, someone who can operate wide and can operate in other positions. He might feel it's time to go 4-3-3, which is particularly a Dutch way, unless he is true to his word and is sticking to this philosophy no matter what."
Dyche expects striker Sam Vokes to once again be Burnley's only absentee.
Meanwhile, Van Gaal has vowed to win the Premier League next season, and then lift the Champions League as part of an ambitious three-year plan at United.
United suffered one of their most humiliating results in recent memory on Tuesday when they were thrashed 4-0 by MK Dons in the Capital One Cup.
For the supporters who made the long trip down to Buckinghamshire, the idea of soon participating in a Champions League final will probably seem like nothing but a pipe dream.
But Van Gaal is sure that is where United are heading under his stewardship.
The Dutch coach, who has won European football's biggest prize with Ajax, is sure he can pick his team up this year and finish in the top four despite their poor start.
Van Gaal wants to win the Premier League in 2015-16 and he then has his sights set on being crowned European champions the following May.
"I hope we are in the top four this season because the Champions League suits a club like United, and then maybe the next step is to be champions and then the next step is to be the winners of the Champions League," the United manager said.
Confidence within the squad has been hit by the draw at Sunderland and defeats to Swansea and MK Dons.
And Van Gaal thinks the task ahead of him will not get any easier when he takes his team to Burnley.
"They will play with a lot of passion, a lot of long balls, but you have to fight against it," he said.
"It will be a very difficult game but we have to show we can play football, that we can pass the ball in spite of the pressure of Burnley."
Di Maria is fit to make his debut but midfielders Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera (all ankle) are out, as is utility-man Jesse Lingard, who has a knee injury.
Defenders Luke Shaw (hamstring), Chris Smalling (groin) and Marcos Rojo (awaiting work permit) are unavailable, while doubts remain over right-back Rafael (groin) and midfielder Shinji Kagawa, who suffered concussion in Tuesday's defeat at MK Dons.