Van Gaal: I want my players to be horny

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Louis van Gaal claims he wants his Manchester United players to be "horny" as they look to overturn a Europa League deficit against Midtjylland.

United head into Thursday's game at Old Trafford looking to bounce back from a hugely disappointing 2-1 defeat in Denmark last week which prompted angry outbursts from the travelling supporters.

Van Gaal's side responded with a comfortable 3-0 win away to Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup on Monday and the former Netherlands boss has underlined the importance of his players' desire to improve as they aim to keep their European campaign alive.

"Desire - it is a great word. I often use the word 'hungry' and 'horny' with my players," he told the media. "You hope that it is like that, and they showed it against Shrewsbury Town also. Players and managers want to fight for the victory, but players are human beings. You also are not always in the same shape or form.

"There's a lot of criticism, so it can influence [the players] but they have to use their tools to ignore it."

Van Gaal went on to dismiss suggestions that United should have made light work of Midtjylland in the first leg.

"No, I think Midtjylland has a very good organisation, very detailed and the players want to perform that organisation," he said. "They play with diagonal pressing. I do that also with my team. Not many teams are doing that. And when I see the data of Midtjylland they have always won against English opponents.

"But also we have to keep the ball better and we have to move the ball quicker - that's always what we have to do. And especially when the opponent is so well organised."

Memphis Depay conceded this week that he has failed to live up to expectations since his move from PSV to United last year, but Van Gaal defended the winger from accusations that he has struggled to cope with the pace of English football.

"These are your words, not mine," he retorted. "He has to adapt, I agree. But that's not only at pace but in different situations. He has to adapt. And also to the culture of England and the Premier League as a person."

Van Gaal confirmed that defender Marcos Rojo is fit for the matchday squad, with the Argentina international having been sidelined since November with a shoulder injury, but David de Gea is not fit to return from the knee problem sustained in the warm-up last week.

"I was hoping for that but he shall not be involved, that is already certain," Van Gaal added.