Van Gaal believes he is answering his critics as Man Utd win

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Only cheers for Van Gaal this time
Only cheers for Van Gaal this time

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal suggested his side were growing in confidence after they produced one of their best displays of the season to beat Stoke 3-0 at Old Trafford.

Rumours over Van Gaal's position as United boss have dominated the Premier League gossip agenda in recent weeks, but goals from Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney secured a 3-0 win against Stoke at Old Trafford.

There were suggestions that Van Gaal may face a frosty reaction after United fans turned against him following the defeat against Southampton last month, but the Dutchman was in jovial mood after his side's resounding win.

"It's amazing they come to watch their boring United," said a cheeky Van Gaal as he paid tribute to the Old Trafford faithful.

"I am a very happy coach because I have seen fantastic goals, team goals, where we are building up from the back and finishing like that, and also controlling the game in the second half," stated Van Gaal.

"Michael Carrick said to me after the match that it is so different when you score the early goal. We had a lot of chances to score in the first half also in previous matches but you have to finish, and now we are finishing and still creating more.

"I think we have played in the first half attacking- wise very good. In the second half we were more controlling and we didn't give any chances away against a team like Stoke. That is remarkable because they always make it difficult."

Van Gaal went on to suggest the belief is flowing in his side, as he highlighted their impressive run of form in 2016.

"We are growing in confidence. Apart from losing one game against Southampton in the final minute when no one should be the winner, we have done well this year," he added.

Man Utd keeper David De Gea told the BBC that the win against Stoke was crucial to his side's ambitions to get back into the title race.

"That was a really important game for us, three important points," stated the Spaniard.

"They didn't create many chances, we scored early and that was the key. We need to keep this tempo and try to get into the top four as soon as possible.

"We always try to play the same football; we believe in ourselves and we need to keep this level, play all the matches like today."