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Van Gaal unsure if Man Utd are ready for Champions League

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Van Gaal faced the press alongside Memphis Depay
Van Gaal faced the press alongside Memphis Depay
De Gea ready for United's Champions League return
De Gea ready for United's Champions League return
Martial hoping for a first start in Man Utd colours
Martial hoping for a first start in Man Utd colours
Van Gaal and assistant Ryan Giggs oversaw training
Van Gaal and assistant Ryan Giggs oversaw training

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted he does not know whether his side are ready to make a mark in this season's Champions League.

United begin their campaign against PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday night, with Van Gaal waiting to see whether his expensively assembled squad have what it takes to match the best in Europe in the next few months.

"We qualified ourselves this year and that was our aim so now we have to show if we are able to play at that level and that I don't know, neither. I have to wait and see," stated Van Gaal.

"We have to show on the pitch if we are able to win matches on the highest level. That's also a challenge for us now. Last year we were fourth in the Premier League.

"I think the Champions League is a higher podium than the Premier League but maybe it's not like that."

Van Gaal confirmed he has yet to decide whether he will hand new signing Anthony Martial a first start in United colours after his wonder goal against Liverpool last weekend, while Memphis Depay is also keen to impress after he was hauled off at halt-time on Saturday.

Depay appeared alongside Van Gaal as he prepares to make a return to the club he left to join United last summer and he insisted he would celebrate if he scores a goal against PSV Eindhoven.

"For me it's a game, so if I score I will celebrate," Memphis stated. "I have respect for PSV but I am a Manchester United player now."

Depay also commented on his early removal in the Liverpool game as he stated: "I think my reaction was good. I will improve in training, keep my head up and work on it and I think I can do better in games."

Depay has an unwavering belief in Van Gaal, who handed him his debut for Holland and then took him to the World Cup even though he was yet to star for PSV, and the feeling is mutual, it seems.

"As a manager you are never satisfied but he is doing well," added Van Gaal of Depay.

"He has played every game until now, but it's not so easy. It's a high rhythm in the Premier League but he has to adapt to that high rhythm and he shall improve I think.

"I have to be patient for Memphis and the fans do also."