Belfast Telegraph

Louis Van Gaal: Just watch us go in 2015

By Paul Hirst

Louis van Gaal has warmed the hearts of Manchester United fans by declaring that 2015 will be a year to remember - for all the right reasons.

As the 20-times top-flight champions head into the new year, their supporters will reflect on a roller-coaster 12-month period that has seen them hit considerably more lows than highs.

For the first time in 28 years, the club fired their manager.

Former Everton boss David Moyes' six-year contract was ripped up after just 10 months and United went on to finish seventh in the Premier League.

The board turned to Van Gaal to revive the ailing club's fortunes, and the early signs were certainly 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 halfway 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 you watch us go," the United manager said.

Van Gaal added: "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."

Van Gaal's first assignment of 2015 is to stretch United's unbeaten run to 10 games at Stoke tomorrow. Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, has called for a change to the congested Christmas fixture schedule before the exertion leads to a serious injury.

The United skipper scored twice in the 3-1 Boxing Day victory over Newcastle and lined up again less than 48 hours later as Van Gaal named the same starting XI for Sunday's goalless draw at Tottenham.

The Red Devils boss labelled the match at White Hart Lane as "ugly" and a "struggle for life", and with more calls than ever for the Premier League to address the Christmas fixture congestion, his captain was left in agreement.

"It is not easy playing two games in two days and you do lose a lot of the quality from both teams," said Rooney.

"It is difficult. We started so well in the first half but in the second half it was tough and hopefully in the future it has to change.

"It will probably take someone getting a really bad injury from playing twice in two days, which no-one wants to see, but it is very demanding and I think it does need looking at."

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