Blind blends well

DALEY BLIND... hoping to shine at Old Trafford.-AP

The Holland international, who moved to Old Trafford from Ajax on deadline day, easily slotted into the United starting XI. By Paul Hirst.

Daley Blind thinks Louis van Gaal’s brutally honest ways will help him become a much better player.

With all the focus on Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao, Blind’s contribution to Manchester United’s 4-0 win over QPR in a recent EPL game largely flew under the radar.

The Holland international, who moved to Old Trafford from Ajax on deadline day, easily slotted into the United starting XI. The 24-year-old, operating at the base of a midfield diamond, dictated the high tempo demanded by manager Van Gaal and also broke up QPR’s attacking play on the rare occasions they made it over the halfway line.

Blind knows Van Gaal well from their time together with the Dutch national team. From the outside, the former Holland coach seems a blunt, authoritarian figure, but Blind says the 63-year-old is just an honest man who should not be criticised for giving his opinions in a straightforward manner.

“He is not frightening — he is just honest,” Blind said. “That can be frightening, but I like it. He is very honest to everybody. He knows what he wants and he knows his philosophy.

“He can bring that to the players and he can make a team with everybody in. I have really learned a lot from Van Gaal and I like working under him. He has helped me a lot and I hope to continue learning from him.

“I think he can make me a better player in terms of positioning, where to stand and tactics in games because midfield is an important position to play and I hope I can get better at it every day.”

Van Gaal handed Blind his Holland debut in February 2013 and he became a regular in the national team through to the World Cup finals, where the Oranje finished third.

Van Gaal attributed Holland’s success to a strong team spirit within the camp, and he has set about trying to establish a similar sense of unity within a United squad which contains six new signings.

“Everybody wants to fight for each other and I think we saw that in the QPR game,” Blind said. “Everyone wants to give the ball to each other. I like to play in this squad. When I came here there was a really warm welcome and I felt directly good in the team. Also, Robin (van Persie) helped me a lot because I know him from the Dutch squad but I got help also from the other guys who came in straight away.

“That is a good start for everybody if you want to work for each other.”

Blind counts his father, former Holland defender Danny Blind, as a big influence on his career too.

“He helps me always,” Blind said of his father, who was at the QPR game. “I always call him after a game to discuss the game, so I am curious what he says to me.”

Having been at Ajax since he was eight years old, Blind admits getting used to the frenetic pace of the English Premier League will take some time.

“I think the Premier League is a higher level and it is a higher speed in the game,” he said.

“It was a higher tempo and I can feel that also in my legs, but I can play 90 minutes. Against QPR it was different because I had a lot of space and that was nice for me.”

PA Sport