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Van Gaal targets 'beautiful' FA Cup win

Louis van Gaal. Photo: PA

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hopes to end a season of strife with a "beautiful" FA Cup win over Crystal Palace, but will do whatever it takes to get the trophy back to Old Trafford.

Van Gaal's methods have not scored too highly in the style stakes this term, and results have only been good enough for a fifth-place finish in the Barclays Premier League.

The Dutchman continues to face daily speculation that this will be his last match in charge of the Red Devils, but knows collecting the club's first major honour since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013 can only strengthen his case.

"Of course the starting point is to perform well, to win beautiful, to score beautiful goals," said Van Gaal.

"But a 1-0 win, for me, is also enough because winning is the most important thing in a final. When you lose you have nothing.

"You always need two attacking sides, then you always get a fantastic match.

"I think they shall defend very small spaces and then counter because they have a lot of speed in attack. So it shall be very difficult, but you cannot always predict a final."

Reports on Friday suggested summer signing Memphis Depay will not feature and has not travelled to London with the squad.

Should the Holland international be omitted it would cap a disappointing first season in England, having started brightly but faded fast.

Van Gaal has given no public indication about who has been asked to sit out, but did admit he had tough calls to make.

The manager was happy with the way his side ended the league season, a 3-1 win against Bournemouth, but has Marouane Fellaini available after suspension and Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and all fit again.

"I have a lot of fit players now, and for me that is more difficult because I have to disappoint a lot of players," he said.

"You have to say to some 'you are not invited for the squad'. That's not nice. I have to select a team and also I have to disappoint because some others are thinking they should play."

He added on the club's official website: "I had to tell five players that they are not involved. Four players are more or less injured so that's not as difficult and they know already. But five are out of the squad.''

For England boss Roy Hodgson, the occasion represents another chance to see 18-year-old Marcus Rashford plying his trade at the highest level and monitor Wayne Rooney's form in a withdrawn midfield role.

Both men, along with Chris Smalling, will miss Sunday's England friendly against Turkey before linking up with the Euro 2016 preparation squad.

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