Van Gaal must deliver next season – Pulis

The Dutchman is on the verge of guiding his side back into the Champions League but his opposite number on Saturday believes he will have to improve again next season

West Brom head coach Tony Pulis says Louis van Gaal will be under pressure to ensure Manchester United are genuine contenders for the Premier League title next season.

United turned to David Moyes to replace legendary manager Alex Ferguson ahead of the 2013-14 campaign, but the Scot was dismissed less than 12 months into the job.

Subsequently, Dutchman Van Gaal – who has won the domestic titles in Netherlands, Spain and Germany – took over and has steered the club to fourth place with four matches remaining.

With a return to the Champions League seemingly assured, Pulis expects the former Holland boss to make more of an impact at the very top of the table in his second season at the helm.

“Louis has obviously spent a bit of money and brought quite a few players in, I think he has had a year to look at it,” Pulis said ahead of West Brom’s visit to Old Trafford on Saturday.

“The difference from himself and [Chelsea manager Jose] Mourinho was that Jose knew the league. This is Van Gaal’s first season in the league. Next year he has to come close to winning the league, he’ll know that.

“It’s been great experience for him this year. I’m sure he’ll add a few players to the squad next year. They’ll want to win it, I see them getting stronger, I can’t see them getting weaker.

“David didn’t get it [time], but Louis has, most probably on the basis he has been successful at bigger clubs. He’s won major titles at bigger clubs. He’s earned it by what he’s done elsewhere, that’s a fact of life.”

A 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace and a goalless draw with Liverpool moved Albion seven points clear of the relegation zone.

But, with United, Chelsea and Arsenal to come in their final four matches, Pulis says there is still work to be done.

“We still need a couple of points and we have a tough run-in,” he added. “We’re underdogs in every game.”

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