Football

Van Gaal: Watch United go in 2015

STOKE CITY v MAN UNITED

(Tonight, 8.45pm, SingTel mio TV Ch 102 & StarHub TV Ch 227)

Louis van Gaal has told Manchester United fans 2015 will be a year to remember - for all the right reasons.

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

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

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 club's fortunes, and the early signs were not good as United won just one of their opening six games and crashed out of the League Cup to 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 watch," said the 63-year-old.

"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 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 this year is to stretch United's unbeaten run to 10 games at Stoke tonight.

Van Gaal has made his anger clear at fixture planners for organising United's game at Tottenham less than 48 hours after their Boxing Day win over Newcastle.

Ahead of tonight's game, he renewed his attack on the authorities, claiming fans are not getting value for money because the players on show cannot cope with the demands of playing such a hectic schedule.

RECOVERY

"Everybody knows that a body cannot recover within 48 hours," said van Gaal.

"Therefore, there is a rule at Uefa and Fifa that you cannot play (back-to-back) games. That's scientifically proven. Everybody knows that and, in spite of that, we have to play."

Van Gaal said his players "struggled for life" in the second half of their 0-0 draw at Spurs and claimed Chelsea and Southampton both suffered from fatigue last weekend as their game petered out into a 1-1 draw.

"It's the culture of England," van Gaal added. "I don't mind, but it is not good for the players, for the health of the players and it is not good for the game because I think that the FA, but also the fans, want attractive games. - PA Sport.