Top-four target for van Gaal

Louis van Gaal has set Manchester United an initial target of a top-four finish in this season's Premier League.

Last Updated: 30/08/14 at 07:26 Post Comment

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

United's new manager is yet to deliver a competitive victory and suffered the indignity of a 4-0 defeat at League One MK Dons in Tuesday's Capital One Cup tie.

Neither that setback, nor a return of just one Premier League point from two games, has dented the Dutchman's confidence and he remains convinced he can bring a new era of domestic and European success to Old Trafford.

Van Gaal is even refusing to rule out a title challenge this season, but ahead of Saturday's trip to Burnley he has again stressed it will take time to rebuild United's squad and successfully implement his methods.

He said: "Before September 1, I have given every player a reasonable chance - it would not have been good to come as a new manager and say 'I want 11 new players'. The process needs time and we are building up a new team.

"I hope we shall succeed and that we are this year in the top four, because the Champions League suits a club like Manchester United.

"Then maybe the next step is to be champions and the next step after that is to be winner of the Champions League, but that needs time. A lot of clubs fight for many, many years and never succeed.

"We can still be the champions of England in my first year. Maybe you will laugh but in my former clubs I have started like this so for me it is not big news."

Van Gaal reminded the press of the positive reports which accompanied United's successful pre-season tour of the United States, where Roma, Real Madrid and Liverpool were all defeated.

He said: "I was a king in the United States, and now I am not a king any more? I am the same Louis van Gaal with the same record and the same philosophy, and I am very confident I shall succeed here."

Van Gaal is also to ask Roy Hodgson to clarify his comments on Luke Shaw after launching an impassioned defence of the teenage star.

Shaw has endured a difficult start to life at Old Trafford since his £28million move from Southampton.

Van Gaal made the 19-year-old train on his own during the tour of the United States because he felt the player had turned up to pre-season out of shape.

The United manager was impressed with the way Shaw battled his way back to full fitness and had it not been for a hamstring injury he picked up just before the start of the season, it seems certain the England left-back would have played in the club's opening two league games.

"I have read nasty articles about Shaw," the United boss said.

"In the United States I said to him 'you came and you were not fit'.

"I changed his programme and he did everything that he has to do to be fit.

"Now he is an example in the dressing room. He is training fantastically. He is not fit now because he is injured. Roy Hodgson cannot judge at this moment. He cannot judge him because I have never seen him here at a (United) training session.

"I think he is referring to the World Cup. It is possible, I don't know. That is what I want to ask.

"But now Shaw is doing a great job."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

ne of the conclusions from this list is that Man City should never buy a striker in January - good luck Wilfried Bony....

Savinator
F365's Top Ten Worst January Panic Buys

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

Footer 365

Captain Mikel Arteta signs 12-month contract extension at Arsenal

Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta has signed a one-year extension to his Arsenal contract, according to Sky sources.

Transfer news: Tottenham's Emmanuel Adebayoyor interesting PSG and QPR

Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing Tottenham’s Emmanuel Adebayor on loan, Sky sources understand.

Transfer news: Dundee United defender Keith Watson has joined Hibernian

Dundee United defender Keith Watson has joined Hibernian on loan until the end of the season.

Mail Box

Erm... Balotelli To QPR..?

It's an afternoon Mailbox that offers the reaction to the reaction, with a defence for Diego Costa offered, and Balotelli mooted to move to QPR. Plus a silly idea about the Mails...

'Diego Costa Is A Thug.' Sore Losers..?

There is plenty of fallout from Diego Costa's stamps of authority on Tuesday's League Cup semi-final. Plus Blatter, Rodgers' substitutions and stretching the transfer truth...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company