Van Gaal: We must prove we belong

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has challenged his side to show that they are worthy of a spot in the Champions League.

The Red Devils return to European competition this season after a one-year absence, having secured their spot in the Champions League qualifiers after finishing fourth in the Premier League last season.

The Dutchman has spared no expense in trying to build a squad capable of beating the best, having spent £262million on 12 players since arriving at Old Trafford 14 months ago.

Van Gaal has admitted that his side may not be up to the test of European football, but has asserted that if nothing else they will go down fighting.

“I think the fans shall see a Manchester United who fight for their chances,” he said ahead of Tuesday's Champions League opener against PSV Eindhoven.

“But we have to show on the pitch if we are able to win matches on the highest level. That's also a challenge for us now.

“Last season we were fourth in the Premier League, we qualified for the Champions League this year and that was our aim.

“Now we have to show if we are able to play at that level and that I don't know, either. I have to wait and see.

“I think the Champions League is a higher podium than the Premier League but maybe it's not like that.”

The midweek fixture will see Memphis Depay return to the club that United paid £25m for his services in the summer, and Van Gaal has said that while Depay has made a positive start to life at Old Trafford, he can still offer more.

“As a manager you are never satisfied but he is doing well, he has played every game, until now, as you know it’s not so easy,” he said. “It’s a high rhythm in the Premier League, but he has to adapt and he shall improve.”