Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is not getting carried away with his side’s top four hopes, as the squad continues to battle an injury crisis.
After four consecutive wins against Shrewsbury Town, FC Midtjylland, Arsenal and now Watford, the United push for a top four place has gathered steam as they now sit level on points with rivals Manchester City, who have a game in hand over the Red Devils.
Juan Mata’s late free kick was the only goal of the game against the Hornets in midweek though, as United struggled to replicate the kind of form that saw them beat Arsenal last weekend.
With the United youngsters seemingly breathing life into United’s season, things are now looking up at Old Trafford after qualifying for the quarter finals of the FA Cup and the last 16 of the Europa League.
Despite the upturn in fortunes, manager van Gaal insists he is not getting too excited.
Speaking to the press ahead of the weekend’s game with West Bromwich Albion, he said: “We have to go step by step I think. Of course we now have four victories in a row, it is fantastic, but we have a very small selection at the moment.”
The Dutchman continued: “We have the same problems as three weeks ago. Players are coming back but still I have to solve a problem every week in my line-up, so when players are coming back, they are not fit enough.”
The Red Devils were not exactly in sparkling form against the Hornets, and the away side will count themselves very unfortunate not to come away from Old Trafford with at least a point.
On the result, van Gaal said: “Watford played very well, they pressed high up and we had difficulty with that. We gave a lot of chances away, I cannot deny that. We still had our chances and I’m pleased with this victory.”
With injuries taken into account, the Dutchman is happy with how the season is now panning out and will hope his team can put extra pressure on a faltering City by beating West Brom on Sunday.