Van Gaal hopes on-song Man Utd don’t go cold turkey this Christmas

Louis van Gaal has admitted he will have to put Manchester United ahead of spending time with his family as he faces up to his first Christmas in English football.

United face Stoke at Old Trafford this evening on the back of three straight league wins, their best run of the season so far.

The 63-year-old has accepted he will not be able to spent time with his wife, kids and grandchildren come Christmas but is more concerned by the effect the period will have on his injury-strewn squad.

“I don’t think it is good for the players that they play within two days of a match but I cannot change it,” said the grandfather.

“December shall be like that. I also have a wife, and kids and grandchildren and I cannot see them at Christmas.

“But, I want to work in the Premier League so I have to adapt and I shall adapt.”

Van Gaal’s side face seven games in the next 31 days, and a victory in their first would see United record four straight wins for only the second time since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.

United have won their last 11 home games against Stoke in league and cup while Robin van Persie has scored ten goals in nine Premier League games against the Potters.

However, Stoke recorded their first league victory over United since 1984 in February and Van Gaal is refusing to underestimate his opponent.

“In the Premier League, nothing is easy and when you see Liverpool struggling against Stoke City for 85 minutes, it shows that,” added the former Barcelona manager.

“Every game is difficult and that’s why the Premier League is exciting because you never know.

“There is an atmosphere in the stadiums, the fans always support their club until the end and that is fantastic – that is why I want to work here.”

Victory over the Potters, managed by former United star Mark Hughes, would see United move to within just two points of second-place Manchester City.

United, however, will be without £60million summer signing Angel Di Maria, the Argentine having failed to overcome a hamstring injury suffered against Hull.

Main image courtesy of FIFATV via YouTube, with thanks.

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