United have made up six points on Manchester City in the last two games to draw level with their neighbours in fourth spot.
Van Gaal, however, will surely have learned some lessons from those two games and ensure that United go for the win early in the match. I think that the attitude is very good, the young players are helping us.
Midfielder Marouane Fellaini is back in training after three weeks out with a hamstring injury, while wing-back Antonio Valencia is also getting closer to a return, having not played since the end of October because of a broken foot. 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.
“If you see the size of the Watford players compared to ours, it was not beneficial to us”.
During the course of the campaign Watford have proven more than a match for the top sides of the Premier League, even though they haven’t necessarily ended with the points they deserved.
“I don’t think that’s bad and we are in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, I think that’s not bad, and in last 16 of the Europa League, so that’s not bad (either)”.
But buoyed by the recent form of Rashford and Mata scoring his eighth goal of the season, the prospect of United reaching next season’s Champions League looks a distinct possibility after their city rivals lost 3-0 at Liverpool.
“I am talking about to my players that you first have to believe in it. I believe in it, but the most important thing is that the players have to believe that”.
However, Van Gaal has insisted that the players need to stay focused and continue to give their best as their policy is risky in terms of relying on young players to make the difference consistently. It is 60 matches.
“But he has to play against (Watford striker) Ighalo who is a handful for a centre half”.
Most of all, I hope he is allowed to develop as an 18-year-old should and people don’t try to put him under enormous pressure.
Manchester United’s Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Watford’s Nordin Amrabat in action.
Asked whether switching Rashford to the right flank and Martial into the middle was crucial, he said: “Yes, I think that was the better change”.
“It was a good night for us but we have to keep going”, Mata told reporters.