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Louis van Gaal on Stoke City, the "fantastic" United fans and Michael Carrick's fitness level


Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants the same level of intensity showed in the FA Cup from his players when they take on Stoke City at Old Trafford tonight.

The Red Devils ended last month with a convincing 3-1 away win against Derby County.

And the Dutchman wants more of the same against the Potters.

"I hope that we can give the same level of performance as against Derby," van Gaal told reporters.

"Our fans supported us fantastically [on Friday night], I heard the fans of Manchester United more than the fans of Derby County.

"It is important that the fans continue to support the players against Stoke as the players have the most difficult task - they have to get a result at that hour, against Stoke's resistance and there are no excuses.

"The fans have to support again.

"Stoke City are a team that every club has a lot of difficulties with. I saw them play against Liverpool and thought they were very good - they deserved to go through. I have to say that I like how Stoke play, very much.

"He [Michael Carrick] could only play 20 minutes against Derby and I wanted to give him that 20 minutes because we need him playing regularly again," said van Gaal. "He did very well and I have no complaints."

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Louis van Gaal