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Van Gaal: United can finish ahead of Man City

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Van Gaal in confident mood ahead of United's final eight games
Van Gaal in confident mood ahead of United's final eight games

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confidently claimed his side are capable of overhauling Manchester City and Arsenal to claim second spot in the Premier League.

Van Gaal's side are firmly in the mix to secure a top four finish and qualification for next season's Champions League, but the Dutchman has his sights set slightly higher.

When asked whether second was a realistic target for United, manager Van Gaal said: "Of course. I cannot deny that because we have Manchester City at home.

"We have the strongest record at home at home so it's possible, but Manchester City is a top team so it shall not be easy.

"It's better to be second or third. I would be pleased with fourth, but I want to be first. And my players want to be first. And when it's not first, it's second."

United midfielder Juan Mata echoed the views of his manager, in an interview with the BBC as he stated: "We are one point and two points from City and Arsenal and I think we can do it.

"We can even be second if we win the direct games against them."

Meanwhile, Van Gaal has admitted he is looking forward to the day when former United boss Alex Ferguson offers his some public praise, which has yet to be forthcoming from the retired Scot.

"The comments of legends are always important because they have a lot of fans," added Van Gaal

"If Ferguson says that then I am more proud because he can judge as a manager much better than ex-players what is the achievement in such a game.

"He (Ferguson) is always away so it's difficult to speak with him. But we have made a (dinner) appointment and he shall pay - that is very important!"