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Van Gaal: Man United should be level with Chelsea

United are finishing the season strongly under Van Gaal. Credit: PA

Man United only won three of their opening ten matches under Louis van Gaal, but they now need just six points from their final four games to achieve their goal of Champions League qualification.

The United boss has been happy with the team's progress - despite recent successive defeats - but he believes he could have been challenging for the title had it not been for their laboured start.

Speaking to the press today, Van Gaal said:

We started very badly this year. When you cut the start of it we shall equalise Chelsea.

Next year we will have a different squad. Not just us, but Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and all the other clubs who are battling for the first positions.

There is not a big gap I don't think. You can judge that when clubs are playing against each other.

– Man United manager Louis van Gaal

Video: Man United manager reads out transfer list

Man United manager Louis van Gaal read out a transfer list prepared by one of the club's supporters during Monday's Manchester United Foundation Dream Day.

Supporters who suffer from life limiting illnesses watched the team train yesterday before meeting some of their heroes at the complex.

In a touching video, the cheeky fan handed Van Gaal a list of players he should buy this summer, claiming he had "prepared some homework" for the Dutch manager.

Van Gaal duly obliged and pocketed the piece of paper before signing the fan's replica shirt.

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Van Gaal 'delighted' with Chris Smalling development

Louis van Gaal is delighted with Chris Smalling's development this season and described the defender as "an integral" part of his plans after he signed a new deal with the club.

Van Gaal is delighted with England man Chris Smalling. Credit: PA

The Man United boss said:

Chris has improved and developed immensely during the short time that I have been at the club and has become an integral part of the first team squad.

He always conducts himself in a very professional manner and it is also pleasing that he has scored some important goals this season too. I am delighted he has signed a new contract.

– Man United manager Louis van Gaal

Van Gaal 'dreaming' of Man United win over Man City

Louis van Gaal is dreaming of recording his first Manchester derby win this weekend.

Will Van Gaal's side take all three points against City? Credit: PA

Dutchman Van Gaal lost in his first meeting with Manchester City last November when Sergio Aguero scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory for the Blues.

That was Manchester United's fourth successive loss to their neighbours, and Van Gaal is determined to avoid another reverse on Sunday when Manuel Pellegrini's men come to Old Trafford.

"I dream of it, every player shall dream of the victory," the United boss said in a press conference at Carrington.

Ribery: Man United manager Van Gaal is 'a bad man'

Franck Ribery has described Man United manager Louis van Gaal as "a bad man" during their time together in Germany.

Ribery and Van Gaal during their time together at Bayern. Credit: PA

The French international looks back on his time with Van Gaal as a testing period, when he found it difficult connecting with the Dutch boss on a human level.

Speaking to Goal, Ribery confessed:

We had problems on a human basis. When he started, nobody knew what was going to happen. His idea was that he did not care about names at all, you don't need stars, everybody had to prove themselves again.

The first contact with him was already poisoned. As a professional you lose your trust. He does great things on the pitch but the coach Van Gaal was a bad man. Our relationship was crushed.

– Franck Ribery speaking to Goal

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Van Gaal confident Manchester United can win Champions League "rat race"

Louis van Gaal says Manchester United are looking up the table Credit: PA

Louis van Gaal says Manchester United are aiming for second place in the Premier League after their 3-1 victory over Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The win moved United into third position and they will stay there if Manchester City lose at Crystal Palace on Monday.

The Dutchman's side are now also eight points ahead of Liverpool after their damaging back-to-back defeats at Old Trafford and at Arsenal, where they lost 4-1 on Saturday lunchtime.

We can look up in the table. The next match is for the second position or the third, I think.

It is still a rat race but we have given a blow to Liverpool, they lost again and so did Southampton so it's a big gap, but we have to play against the top three (around us).

– Louis van Gaal

Van Gaal: I have backing of Man Utd owners

Louis van Gaal believes he retains the full backing of the Glazer family despite a difficult first year in charge of Manchester United.

Man Utd manager Louis van Gaal. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

The next five matches will have a big bearing on whether Van Gaal's maiden season at the club will be regarded as a success or failure.

United are two points inside the top four with 10 matches to go and after Sunday's game against Tottenham, they face Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Chelsea.

Despite a run of three defeats in 23 matches, some supporters have complained about a lack of tempo, flair and width from Van Gaal's side.

But, crucially, the United boss thinks he still has the support of the Glazer family, who own the club, and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

"I have faith that I can complete my three years," the United manager said.

"I think they are pleased with my way of managing the club."

Man United boss backs Van Praag for Fifa presidency

Louis van Gaal has backed Michael van Praag's bid to become FIFA president.

Van Gaal and Van Praag during their time together at Ajax. Credit: PA

Van Gaal knows Van Praag as he worked under him at Ajax and with the Dutch national side.

Van Praag, the head of the Dutch Football Association, is one of three candidates vying to unseat current FIFA president Sepp Blatter, the others being Asian Football Confederation vice-president Prince Ali bin Al Hussein and former Portugal international Luis Figo.

And the Manchester United manager believes his 67-year-old compatriot is capable of heading world football's governing body, although he concedes it will be a tough job beating Blatter, who is determined to extend his 17-year reign.

I have a very good relationship with him. I like him very much. He can do the job but it shall be very difficult for him to be the (president) because it is a voting system but you never know.

– Man United manager Louis van Gaal
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