Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed he is very grateful to have had such strong support from the cub's fans during the difficult early months of his Old Trafford reign - citing it as his best memory so far.

The Dutchman has guided United to third place in the Premier League table at the halfway stage of his debut season and speaking to MUTV about his highlights since arriving, he explained, "The thing that has pleased me most is the fans, they are amazing.

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"We started the season poorly, but in spite of that they have supported us, they have great belief in their squad and manager," he continued, before adding, "I want to thank them because they've been very important in our weaker moments."

Moving on to talk about the players, van Gaal also commented, "In terms of the team, I think it has to be our fighting spirit, and I think that's why the fans have supported us every week. In some matches we've been behind, the players have had to fight until the end, and they've done that successfully."

After the patchy form that characterised the early weeks of the 2014/14 season, United have finally found some form of late and the manager is delighted to see things finally starting to come together, though he knows there is still a long way to go.

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"It's a process, and you can see every week that we are playing better. We are improving, and the results are coming. The first few games were a struggle, we played better than our opponents but lost a lot of points.

"After seven wins in a row and two draws, we're unbeaten for several weeks, but we can still improve. That's more important, we can improve, and we have to improve."

The chance to keep up that good form will come when van Gaal and his players travel to Stoke for a tricky game on New Year's Day.