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 By PA Sport

Louis van Gaal regrets setting United a three month target

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has said he was "stupid" to invite people to analyse his reign after three months.

When Van Gaal took charge at Old Trafford in July, he suggested that his impact could not be truly measured until he was at least three months into the job.

The Dutchman still believes in the point he was making -- that it will take time to impose his philosophy -- but now the three-month period is up he believes he is having to answer questions he feels are unnecessary.

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The 63-year-old told a news conference: "I have said it was very stupid to say three months because then you [media] are only talking about three months.

"It is always the performance that counts, but the performance always goes up and down. Then we rise. When that date is, or what that match is, depends."

United made an indifferent start under Van Gaal but, with 150 million pounds spent on new players over the summer, he is moulding a new team.

He expects that process to take time but is confident that everything will come good.

The vastly-experienced coach had a rocky spell after taking charge at Bayern Munich in 2009. Pressure mounted after a poor opening and, by November, there was speculation that he could be sacked.

But Bayern's fortunes turned after an impressive Champions League win away at Juventus, and they went on to reach the final and win the Bundesliga.

Van Gaal feels United are still looking for the spark that could provide that sort of turning point, despite successive wins over West Ham and Everton, but believes it could come at any time.

Manchester United have just five points out of a possible 15 under manager Louis van Gaal.
Three months has perhaps been too short a period to truly judge Louis van Gaal's tenure as Manchester United manager.

He said: "I believe we won 4-1 in Juventus, a fantastic game -- that gave us a psychological benefit.

"But that was a very good game -- against Everton, we could not say it was very good. The first 60 minutes, maybe, but a game lasts 90 minutes.

"I don't think points are very important in the process. It's the game, it's the style, it's the formation, it's the philosophy that we have to judge and not the points. The points are coming when we are playing good, and not only good for 60 minutes but 90 minutes."

The comparisons with Bayern are not quite like for like, as United are not involved in the Champions League this season and Van Gaal does not think they are yet ready to launch a title bid.

He said: "Every team can win, you have your hopes, but I do think there are stronger teams now in the world. We have to make a team.

"That is why I have a period of three years. I hope we can fulfil that dream that we have together."

United will be looking to build on recent momentum as they travel to West Bromwich Albion on Monday night.

The trip to The Hawthorns comes before United face a double-header against Chelsea and Manchester City in the weeks ahead.

It could be argued that they have an important advantage with free midweeks while Chelsea and City battle in the Champions League, but Van Gaal does not see it that way.

He said: "A training session is different to a match. You cannot simulate a match rhythm. We try to, but it is different.

Michael Carrick has returned to training after a lengthy spell out due to injury.

"I have said before, when you can play the Champions League -- also the Europa League -- you can compare yourself as a team with better players with a higher level.

"I think when you are in the Champions League and it is going well you beat the opponents, you are coming into a flow, then it is not so bad to play all the matches.

"Maybe in my first year I have more chances to train with my players. That is probably better than all the matches. Maybe.

"But at the end it is always better to play in the Champions League and in the cup, and all the matches."

United could have a number of players back in contention for their trip to The Hawthorns after injury.

Ander Herrera, Chris Smalling, Ashley Young, Phil Jones and Michael Carrick have all recently returned to training.

Defenders Jonny Evans and Paddy McNair and midfielders Jesse Lingard and Antonio Valencia are still sidelined, while captain Wayne Rooney is suspended.

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