The Dutchman says his players have to show that they can compete at the highest level but admits that he does not yet know if they will be capable of doing so
Louis van Gaal admits he is not yet sure if his Manchester United side can compete in the Champions League.
United will make their return in the competition after a one-year absence on Tuesday night when they take on PSV at the Phillips Stadion.
Van Gaal believes it is a “challenge” for his players to show they can compete at a level which he considers to be higher than the Premier League, but says it remains to be seen whether they can do so.
“I think the fans shall see a Man Utd that will fight for its chances,” he told the press. “We will show on the pitch if we are able to win matches on the highest level, that’s a challenge for us now.
“Last year we were fourth, we qualified this year, that was our aim. Now we have to show if we are good enough for that level, and I don’t know, I have to see myself.
“I think the Champions League is a level above the Premier League but we will see.”
Van Gaal also suggested David De Gea will continue as United’s first-choice goalkeeper in the competition.
The Spain international signed a new four-year contract at Old Trafford last Friday following the collapse of his proposed summer transfer to Real Madrid, and he returned to the starting line-up for the home win against Liverpool.
Argentina international Sergio Romero had played United’s first six games of the season as De Gea appeared to be closing in on a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, but now appears unlikely to see much first-team action.
Asked whether he would use two different keepers for domestic and European competition, Van Gaal replied: “No, I’m not a supporter of that. I always play my best team.”