Van Gaal: Mission accomplished

However, the Dutchman admits that overcoming numerous injuries has been the toughest challenge he has faced during his first campaign at Old Trafford.

United entertain Arsenal on Sunday, knowing victory would give them an outside chance of finishing third in the table.

And looking back on his first campaign in England???s top flight, the 63-year-old said: ???We sat together, myself and the board, and set the goal, which was to finish in the first four.

???And we have reached that two games before the end of the season, which is not bad I think.???

Regarding the high number of injuries that United suffered before Christmas, he added: ???Football is about physical resistance but also about luck.

‘Important’

???I am satisfied about the second part of the season but in the first part of the season we had an average of 10 injuries a week. We never lined up the same but I’m happy now.”

As for next season, he added: ???It???s dependent on how we make a balance in our selection and that is the most important thing. It is not good that we have to change positions of players and we have to bring that balance back in selection.???

And Van Gaal has called for defender Luke Shaw – who has played a bit part in United’s season due to injuries following his big-money move from Southampton last season – not be part of the England squad that competes in the final stages of the European U21 Championship this summer.

Shaw, who cost United ??27m, has appeared in just 16 Premier League games this season due to injury but is keen to play for Gareth Southgate???s squad.

But the Dutchman said: “He needs that rest. He over-crossed his limits. He is 19 years old. What can you expect?

???We have to protect him and I hope that the coach understands that.???

Comments