Van Gaal offers hope to United fans

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Published: Tuesday 30th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Louis van Gaal has told Manchester United fans 2015 will be a year to remember – for all the right reasons.

As United head into the new year their supporters will reflect on a roller-coaster 12-month period that has seen them hit more lows than highs.

For the first time in 28 years, the club fired their manager. David Moyes’ six-year contract was ripped up after just 10 months and United went on to finish seventh in the Barclays Premier League.

The board turned to Van Gaal to revive the club’s fortunes, and the early signs were not good as United won just one of their opening six games and crashed out of the Capital One Cup to Sky Bet League One side MK Dons.

The Dutchman has slowly started turning things round though and at the half way stage United are third in the table following a run of seven wins and two draws in their last nine matches.

Van Gaal strives for perfection though so he is not happy with United’s current plight and is hoping there will be a better year ahead for the club’s fans.

“We are improving every week and we shall be better in 2015. Just watch,” the United manager said.

“We are still in a process.

“I think the players understand the philosophy, and that’s why we are improving – but we can improve more when we have all the players available.

“I think the fans were fantastic because we were in a moment with 10 matches and 13 points – that is not good, I think more weak than good.

“They have supported us is because of the fighting spirit of my team.

“We were not always ahead in matches but they have fought to the end and a lot of times with good success, so I think we can be satisfied about the points now – 36.

“We are in our goal, I think. What I have already said, we are improving every week. We can see 2015 with open eyes.”

After almost six months in the job, Van Gaal is now settled in Manchester.

“English life is fantastic,” the Dutchman said with a smile.

“I have met only friendly people on the streets and in the restaurants where I go.

“I have very nice neighbours; they are all older than me but very nice. I live in a surrounding environment [that is] fantastic.”

And the 63-year-old has even found a local eatery that suits his palate in Manchester city centre.

He said: “My favourite food is Chinese food, and the restaurant is Wing’s.

“The food is fantastic because when I came to England everybody said the food is not good, but [it is] fantastic. Also, the wine list is fantastic.”

Van Gaal’s first assignment of 2015 is to stretch United’s unbeaten run to 10 games at Stoke on New Year’s Day.

Van Gaal has made his anger clear at fixture planners for organising United’s game at Tottenham less than 48 hours after their Boxing Day victory over Newcastle.

As a result, the 63-year-old is expected to rotate his team for the match at the Britannia Stadium.

Luke Shaw and Rafael could start after suffering no reaction when they made their injury comeback at White Hart Lane last Sunday.

Adnan Januzaj, Ander Herrera and Angel di Maria are back in training and could feature, but Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Marouane Fellaini are likely to miss out.

United have only lost once in 20 years at the Britannia Stadium, but Mark Hughes’ team have won their last two games and Van Gaal is bracing himself for a tough test, partly because of the “difficult” surface he expects to find at the Potters’ ground.

“I hear from (assistant manager) Ryan [Giggs] that Stoke City is a very difficult pitch,” Van Gaal said.

Published: Tuesday 30th December 2014 by The News Editor

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