Belgium international Marouane Fellaini says Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is very strict in nature and that he is what the club needs to get back into the Champions League again.
Fellaini was signed by former United manager David Moyes for £27m last season and after early struggles at the club, the Belgian is now thriving under Dutchman Louis van Gaal.
The former Everton midfielder claims that United needed such a strict coach like Van Gaal who would put some players’ feet back on the ground.
Fellaini said as quoted by The Mirror: “The coach is very strict, but that’s good. We needed such a coach.
“Last season, we had a bad season. We even missed European qualification. We needed a coach who would put some players’ feet back on the ground.
“If he says something, you should do it. Otherwise you’ll fly out of it [the team].
“If he has to take you off the pitch when the game hasn’t been going on for more than 30 minutes, he’ll do it. Or during half-time. Fortunately, it hasn’t happened to me yet.”
Fellaini’s future at Old Trafford came under scrutiny last summer when he was linked with a move to Serie A outfit Napoli.
He was turning out to be a huge flop at the club and was asked to prove himself by the new manager. Fellaini duly passed the acid-test and has become a regular member in the side.
“He [Van Gaal] told me, ‘Prove yourself and we’ll see’. Now they are counting on me.
“There were never any real doubts. I was injured at the beginning of the season and then returned. The coach gave me confidence and I proved myself in a few matches.
“After that, I was injured and I got sick. For three weeks I was on antibiotics. It took a while, but now I can finally enjoy things.”
The 27-year-old has scored four goals this season and has created 13 chances for his team-mates in 19 appearances this season for United.
Louis van Gaal has also hailed Fellaini’s contribution to the team, saying the midfielder gives a healthy balance to the team and has urged him to push more forward allowing Carrick to perform in deeper roles.
“Fellaini has qualities that now in this moment he can contribute a lot, and that’s why he is playing,” said Van Gaal.
“He also allows me to give balance to the team and that’s important. That’s important for a manager who is looking for the balance of the team.
“He’s also a player who can give a solution for beating the opponents when they’re pressing, and that’s also a contribution, but he has more contributions.
“I think he has to play more and more higher [up the pitch] and Michael Carrick has to play more deeper.”
Belgium manager Marc Wilmots adds that Fellaini is versatile enough to play in multiple positions but he is more creative when playing centrally.