Preston in the way of van Gaal's trophy hopes

HIGH FLIERS: United's Wayne Rooney (centre) challenging Cambridge's Greg Taylor, as Paddy McNair looks on during their FA Cup fourth-round replay on Tuesday. United won 3-0, and are now favourites following the exits of major rivals.


    Feb 05, 2015

    Preston in the way of van Gaal's trophy hopes


    MANCHESTER United manager Louis van Gaal reiterated his determination to win a trophy in his debut season, after his side beat Cambridge United to advance to the fifth round of the FA Cup.

    United prevailed 3-0 in Tuesday's replay against fourth-tier side Cambridge at Old Trafford, thanks to goals from Juan Mata, Marcos Rojo and James Wilson.

    They will meet third-tier side Preston North End next.

    With rivals such as Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur having exited the competition at this stage, United are now favourites to end an 11-year wait to lift the world's most famous domestic Cup competition.

    But van Gaal admits the visit to Deepdale in two weeks' time will be testing, especially after Preston's impressive 3-1 replay victory away at Cup specialists Sheffield United.

    "Every club in the FA Cup wants to win; we also," said the Dutchman.

    "We have to beat Preston and that will not be easy. They won away against a Cup fighter like Sheffield United, so it will be difficult for us to win in Preston North End.

    "I heard from Ryan (Giggs that) they (Sheffield United) are very good Cup fighters and Preston beat them 3-1. So Preston are not a piece of cake."

    Reflecting on his side's performance against a team who are currently 79 places below United in the English league system, the Dutchman added: "I don't think we played a very good match.

    "But it is always difficult against a defensive team. We could have done better, but I am pleased with the result.

    "Cambridge have played very well; a very organised team and with the mentality that was superb. The fans were fantastic from Cambridge United. We have done what we had to.

    "I prefer to play against lower teams, because the possibility to survive is higher. The FA Cup is a title and I am living for titles as a coach, but it is always difficult.

    "It is even sometimes more difficult to win against a lower team than a big team. That is good, but that is also what football is. It is what we all like, that not always the better team is winning.

    "We have a real chance now. Why? We are the highest qualified team in the FA Cup, so people are maybe betting on us. I am not allowed to. I give you a tip."

    Cambridge could not match the dizzying heights of their first meeting with United, a 0-0 draw at the Abbey Stadium, but the £1 million (S$2 million) in funds generated by the replay were a huge consolation for losing manager Richard Money.

    "It means we can be safe and stable financially," he said.

    "We are not going to have a spending spree in the summer and have one massive effort to be promoted. We need to grow.

    "We need a new stadium and a new training ground or new facilities at the training ground. That is what the Cup run will do for us."