Van Gaal satisfied with United progress but wants more
18 May 2015, 09:13
London - Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal received a rousing reception from the Old Trafford fans after the 1-1 Premier League draw with Arsenal on Sunday which ensured they will almost certainly finish fourth in his first season in charge.
For almost two decades when Alex Ferguson was Manchester United manager, matches against Arsene Wenger's Arsenal often decided titles.
But times have changed.
After the embarrassment of finishing seventh last season under David Moyes, Van Gaal has steadied the United ship and a place in the Champions League qualifying round is an acceptable prize.
"I am satisfied we have set our goal and reached that," the Dutchman told Sky Sports.
"From what I have seen of the fans they are pleased.
"We have not yet qualified for Champions League. It is always stressful as you can meet opponent who is halfway through a season already."
United dominated the first half against Arsenal at Old Trafford and led through Ander Herrera's far-post volley, but substitute Tyler Blackett deflected in Theo Walcott's strike eight minutes from time to earn Arsenal a point.
"You can say we are unlucky because it is the third deflected goal in a row and falls in our net," Van Gaal said.
"But I have said it is not unlucky to the players. You have to force luck by finishing games. You see Arsenal want to come back so you have to stick together and be compact.
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"I have said Arsenal have maybe the best team but Chelsea can finish the game which Arsenal cannot do and we can't either. That is important."
Van Gaal will be there again next season to continue his re-building programme.
"As the manager I want more," he said. "Next year we shall fight for more."
Van Gaal refused to be drawn on transfer dealings at Old Trafford, but hinted that goalkeeper David de Gea might move back to Spain with Real Madrid.
"David de Gea shall not leave us so easily," he said. "Of course, we are a great club and he wants to participate. But he is Spanish and his girlfriend is Spanish."
United, two points behind third-placed Arsenal, must win at Hull City in their final game next Sunday and hope the Gunners lose their two remaining home matches if they are to climb into an automatic Champions League group place.