LONDON (AFP) – Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United are still in the Premier League title race despite missing a chance to close the gap on the top two.
Van Gaal’s side paid the price for their failure to convert a number of first half chances when they were held to a 0-0 draw at Tottenham on Sunday.
That meant they stay 10 points behind Chelsea, who were held by Southampton, and seven adrift of second placed Manchester City, who were also frustrated in a draw with struggling Burnley. Van Gaal admits his side cannot afford a repeat of this wasteful display.
But he is confident United are improving and capable of reeling in Chelsea and City during the second half of the season.
“When you cannot win such type of matches when (you are the) better team – like against (Aston) Villa and also now – then it is very difficult to be the champions at the end of the season,” Van Gaal said.
But asked if he still believed his side could be champions, he said: “Still, because we are improving every week.
“Of course, of course, we shall be better in 2015. So watch.”
Van Gaal claimed it was impossible for his injury-hit squad to maintain top form having beaten Newcastle 3-1 just two days earlier.
“When you play your best first half of the season as Manchester United and you are playing in White Hart Lane and playing a top six club and you play like that and create six to eight open chances then you have to finish them,” he said.
“If you don’t reward yourself, normally the opponent wins.
“You could see also the difference in the second half. It was not football anymore and a struggle for life.”