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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes the Red Devils can still climb above Manchester City and finish second in the English Premiership.

Currently United is five points behind City, but have a difficult run of games ahead where they must play Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea and City in the next few weeks.

“The coming matches are very decisive,” said van Gaal.

“We are so close to a lot of clubs. We can be second or third. It is not a big difference, I believe.

“Manchester United have to be one of the teams who have to play in the Champions League.”

United has lost just three of their last 23 games, but that has not stopped fans from criticising the Dutchman’s style of play.

“We have the confidence to reach the goal we set at the beginning of the season,” he added.

“I have a lot of confidence in my players. From what I see in training sessions, we have progressed. But there is a big difference between training sessions and matches.

“We have to wait for the big victory. Then, maybe, we shall have more spirit and also more confidence to win our games.”