RVP has been stripped of the spot-kick duties. Barringotn Coombs
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'I miss a striker that scores' - Van Gaal bemoans United's lack of firepower

Another hint that time is running out for Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao?

MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER Louis van Gaal has bemoaned his team’s lack of firepower after their grip on a top-four spot loosened again.

United have lost three straight Premier League matches, including a 1-0 defeat by West Brom on Saturday, to leave them just four points clear of fifth-placed Liverpool.

Van Gaal’s men are without a goal in those three games, leading to worries that they may have to battle late in the season for a Champions League qualifying spot that looked relatively secure.

Wayne Rooney, on 12, is United’s leading goalscorer in the league but has played periods in midfield, while Robin van Persie (10) and Radamel Falcao (four) have struggled.

“I miss a striker that scores and every striker – if it’s Van Persie or Falcao or Wayne Rooney – who scores the goal, I’m very happy and the team is very happy,” Van Gaal told the press.

“[The lack of goals] is a concern now because it’s not a coincidence and, in spite of the way we have played against Chelsea, Everton and now against West Brom, we have created a lot of chances and still we don’t score.

“So you can say, as manager, we were not unlucky in every match. It’s also that you have to finish these chances. “We have lost three times in a row so it’s also in the hands of my players. [The top four] is less secure.”

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Manchester United - Goodison Park PA Wire / Press Association Images PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Van Gaal, meanwhile, confirmed Dutchman van Persie has been stripped of the penalty taking duties after his costly miss at the weekend.

The striker saw his spot-kick saved by Boaz Myhill at Old Trafford and his manager has now revealed that he will soon appoint a new penalty taker, though Rooney will not succeed Van Persie, having also missed from the spot in recent weeks.

“No. He is now at the end of the road,” the United manager replied when asked if Van Persie would continue taking penalties. “It’s always like that. Wayne has missed also so, when you miss, you are at the bottom again.

“Wayne has already missed – twice, I believe – so we have penalties and we miss them.”

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