• Premier League

Van Gaal demands improvements for United title tilt

Richard Jolly | ESPN FC
December 14, 2014
David De Gea was in brilliant form to thwart Liverpool on numerous occasions © Getty Images

Louis van Gaal has not given up on Manchester United becoming champions this season but claims improvements are needed to turn their six-game winning run into a realistic title push.

Their sixth successive win, 3-0 against Liverpool on Sunday, left them eight points behind leaders Chelsea but the manager admitted he has been repeatedly telling his players they need to step up.

When asked if United are now in the title race, Van Gaal said: "Of course. We are winning now six matches in a row. That is fantastic but we have to improve our playing style still and I am saying that nearly every week. Only after the matches against QPR and Hull I have said: 'OK, we are dominating the game for 90 minutes'.

'We did enough to win the game'

"We could have dominated the game [for] 90 minutes today but we didn't do that. We gave unnecessary balls away in the second half. We have to improve but we are very pleased because we know what it is to win against Liverpool. Everybody is happy. My cook is happy, my wife is happy and I am happy."

David De Gea was key to United's victory against Liverpool and won the man of the match award after making a series of saves to deny Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli.

The goalkeeper also starred in victories over Everton, Arsenal and Stoke, but Van Gaal rejected the idea that his side were becoming a one-man team.

He said: "We are doing it like a team and the team is winning, not one player. I can mention also other players, the influence of their performance was high but the press wants always one or two.

"I could mention more than three. We were very good today. I want to mention the team instead of individuals. That is my philosophy. I think the team has done very well and De Gea has contributed a big part of that."

United are waiting to assess the scale of defender Marcos Rojo's injury after he was hurt in training on Saturday.

Van Gaal said: "That we have to wait and see. It happened yesterday but I am not a doctor."

Rooney played in midfield and Van Gaal revealed he wanted to use youngster James Wilson's speed in attack as he looked to exploit Liverpool's flaws.

He said: "The staff [do] the analysis of the opponent and we are analysing where are the weaknesses of the opponent - then we make our line-up because of that.

"Today I thought Rooney was more a midfielder for us because I need more speed up and Wilson has speed. That is why I did that, no other reason. Next time Rooney is maybe a striker."

This article originally appeared on ESPN FC

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