Van Gaal: Man Utd must be like Netherlands

New Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal wants the Red Devils to be like the Netherlands side he took to third place at the World Cup, ESPN has reported.

Van Gaal takes over at Old Trafford now the World Cup has come to an end and says one of the crucial qualities in the Dutch team’s success was how unified the players were – and wants to see similar characteristics at United.

“I hope my new group in Manchester will be just like this one,” van Gaal said. “We set an objective and we believed in that objective. We wanted first place. And really we were very, very close to doing that – only penalties stopped us.

“Not to be able to achieve that objective was so disappointing but we won third place, we got a medal which is fantastic,” he added.

Runners-up Argentina knocked the Netherlands out of the tournament, taking a penalty shootout win from the semi-final. But the Netherlands recovered to beat hosts Brazil 3-0 in the third-place play-off.

“And we scored 15 goals in seven matches, so we can look back on a successful tournament and I’m just so proud of my players and my staff,” van Gaal continued. “Now the first thing we have to do at United is the same, to all start singing from the same hymn sheet. Then we’ll see if we do that then all’s well that ends well.”

United ended last season in seventh place, having appointed Everton manager David Moyes to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson. Moyes was sacked in April, with Ryan Giggs – now van Gaal’s assistant – seeing out the campaign.

Van Gaal was at pains to stress that the season wouldn’t be all plain sailing and warned observers not to expect perfection. “I couldn’t do that with Ajax, I couldn’t do that at Barcelona, I couldn’t do that at Bayern Munich. Losing is part and parcel of the game,” he said.

“But I hope I can do my best, I will try to do my best at Manchester United. Whether that is enough for the fans there, I genuinely hope it will be.”

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