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FA Cup

Van Gaal heaps praise on away fans

419Louis Van Gaal has praised Manchester United’s “fantastic” support after the travelling supporters generated a fantastic atmosphere away at Derby County on Friday night.

Backed by over 5,000 reds, the largest away allocation of the season, United beat Derby 3-1 and booked their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup and the boisterous away support didn’t go unnoticed with Van Gaal.

“Our fans supported us fantastically. I heard the fans of Manchester United more than the fans of Derby County,” he said.

“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.

Van Gaal allegedly offered his resignation after United suffered an embarrassing defeat at Stoke on Boxing Day and he warned Mark Hughes’ side would be difficult to deal with on Tuesday night.

“I hope that we can give the same level of performance as against Derby,” said the United manager.

“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.”