Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says his side have come through a difficult period and are confident going into the rest of the season.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of United’s match against Sunderland this weekend the Dutchman said: “We had lost four matches in a row in December and you see us now.
“You can only say that we are mentally very strong and that we can cope with the pressure.”
United ended last year with disappointing performances, losing against Wolfsburg, Bournemouth, Norwich and Stoke City, putting Van Gaal and his side under intense pressure with widespread speculation that the Dutchman was going to be relieved of his duties.
With United not challenging for the title and being knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage, reports have circulated that van Gaal will be replaced most likely at the end of the season by Jose Mourinho.
However, United have since begun to turn their form around having lost just once, against Southampton, since the turn of the year.
The red devils have also been praised for improving their style of play, as they now look more expansive and have hit a better goal scoring run with captain Wayne Rooney leading from the front, reviving his goal scoring form which now sees the number 10 on 14 goals for the season.
However despite United’s return to form they still sit six points off of rivals Manchester City in fourth, and van Gaal insists there is still room for improvement.
He said: “We have to improve our results and consistency to win a lot of matches in a row. We have to minimise the gap to our competitors.”
United will get the chance to pile the pressure on City this weekend as they kick off in the early game on Saturday against relegation battlers Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
If van Gaal’s men have serious thoughts on breaking into the top four, then they must return to winning ways this weekend as their rivals face a tough match against second place and very much in-form Tottenham Hotspur.