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Louis van Gaal on the top four race and van Persie's injury


Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says a top four finish is a must this season.

Last week's defeat at the Liberty Stadium allowed Arsenal to move up to third with Southampton, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur all involved in the chase.

And van Gaal says his team has to improve if they are to qualify for next season's Champions League.

"It is a rat race between five clubs," van Gaal said on Friday afternoon.

"Therefore you have to win your matches because the other clubs are winning their matches.

"We are not unhappy. I am pleased with the results, but not with a lot of the performances.

"If you told me at the start of the season I would be in the first four at the start of May, I would have signed for it.

"When I came here, that was my goal and we are still there. But, of course, it would be a big disappointment not to make it."

Meanwhile, the Dutchman says striker Robin van Persie is expected to be ruled out for at least one month after suffering an ankle injury against Swansea City.

"I do not think it is very heavy but ankle problems can take a long time," van Gaal said.

"It is not one or two weeks."

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Louis van Gaal, Robin van Persie