Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has spoken of his belief that the club can move a step closer to a third place finish with a win in the derby against Manchester City this weekend.
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The Dutchman, who took over at Old Trafford in the summer, admits he would be delighted to see the club move ahead of their neigbours into an automatic Champions League qualification spot, with reaching Europe not always looking guaranteed throughout much of this season.
Van Gaal had a difficult start with United, winning just once in his first five games in all competitions, but they are now on a good run after beating the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, while local rivals City have imploded somewhat in dropping to fourth place.
Although United may be used to challenging for the title every season, a third-place finish would no doubt be a big improvement on last season’s disastrous campaign that saw them finish seventh under David Moyes.
“You want to win and it is a big step in the table to do so,” the manager is quoted on Sky Sports.
“When you win third place is reachable and a few months ago nobody was thinking about that apart from me, the third position in the table is good because you are certainly qualified for the Champions League and it would be better than our pre-season goals.”