Van Gaal: Top four more important than FA Cup win

The Dutchman says securing Champions League football for next season remains his primary goal despite potentially only being three games away from winning the cup

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says qualifying for next season’s Champions League is more important than winning the FA Cup.

The race to secure a top-four finish is hotting up with just four points separating third placed Arsenal and Tottenham, who are sixth in the league.

United currently occupy the final Champions League qualification spot but now face Arsenal in the FA Cup with Van Gaal insisting the Premier League is his priority.

“When you win the FA Cup you are not in the Champions League, but you have won a trophy,” he told reporters.

“For the players, that’s fantastic, and for the manager that’s fantastic, but our goal is to reach, in our first year together, a place in the Champions League.

“The Champions League is the highest level. To finish in the first four is a fantastic result I think, and for Manchester United even more so.”

Van Gaal also feels that victory over Arsene Wenger’s side on Monday at Old Trafford will also give his side a boost for their remaining Premier League games.

“Monday is very important because every match that you play carries an influence into the next match,” he added.

“After the defeat at Swansea City, we’ve won two matches. We have a good feeling now.

“That’s what I am saying. I want to get the goals that we have set and the goal we have set is the top four.”

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