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Louis van Gaal claims Manchester United are too big to go decades without league success

By Mark Staniforth

Published 16/01/2016

Up in the air: Manchester United's Ashley Young feels the full force of a James Milner tackle during their meeting with Liverpool earlier in the season
Up in the air: Manchester United's Ashley Young feels the full force of a James Milner tackle during their meeting with Liverpool earlier in the season

Louis van Gaal insists it is inconceivable that Manchester United will endure another title drought as long as the one traditional rivals Liverpool are on ahead of their trip to Anfield tomorrow.

Jurgen Klopp's men are still searching for their maiden Premier League crown, having last won the top-flight title under Kenny Dalglish in 1990, and despite their difficult campaign so far Van Gaal sees no reason to believe United's traditional dominance could be on the wane.

Defeat at Anfield will increase pressure on the Dutchman's Old Trafford future after their latest setback when they blew a 2-0 lead to draw 3-3 at struggling Newcastle on Tuesday night, but Van Gaal repeated his assertion that his side is "in transition" and require patience rather than panic before they reclaim their almost customary position at the top of the table.

Van Gaal said: "I am part of the transition so I cannot imagine that it shall happen with Manchester United.

"When it is happening to Liverpool it can also happen to Manchester United, but I cannot imagine that because we are going the right way, but maybe it shall take a longer time.

"I cannot imagine it will be the same for Manchester United. It's too big, too well organised and we have an infrastructure and we are improving that every year."

Quite how far the patience will stretch is another matter, but Van Gaal is well aware of how much a victory at Anfield could improve the mood among restless United supporters.

"I have felt it (the rivalry) already four times, on the tour of the USA and in the league. You can see it on the faces of the players," added Van Gaal.

"We need to be aggressive, but also under control. It is that kind of match and it will always be difficult because the passion at play in these kinds of games is always very high."

Van Gaal and Klopp faced each other four times in the Bundesliga when in charge of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund respectively, claiming two wins each.

And the Dutchman believes his opposite number has already proven to have the ability required to move Liverpool closer to finally ending their quarter-century title drought.

Van Gaal said: "You can see he plays a very aggressive and pressing kind of game and he already knows the difference between the Premier League and the German league.

"He is a very capable manager in the Premier League because he has always showed this kind of football and I think the fans will love it."

Van Gaal is once again set to be without Bastian Schweinsteiger and Phil Jones, but Adnan Januzaj could feature from the bench following his return from a loan spell in Germany.

Van Gaal was furious with the way his side threw away a two-goal lead at Newcastle and allowed the Magpies to seize a point in injury time.

Van Gaal added: "I think I was more disappointed than the fans, but I say to them we lost two points and two points are very important in this period.

"One point is not enough when you are the circumstances that we are in. In a game like that you have to win and we were disappointed, but of course the fans have seen a match where we have scored three goals."

Meanwhile Van Gaal shrugged off suggestions that the transfer embargo imposed on Real Madrid this week could affect the future of goalkeeper David De Gea.

Under a Fifa ruling this week, the Spanish giants will be unable to sign players this summer or in the next winter transfer window due to irregularities.

Real had been expected to renew their interest in the United keeper, who was poised to move to the Bernabeu last summer before the move collapsed at the last minute.

Van Gaal insisted: "I don't think that is the kind of thing that plays on the mind of David De Gea. I never thought about it in the period before the transfer window and now I am seeing David De Gea who is enjoying to stay here and play."

Belfast Telegraph

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