We must win cup: Van Gaal

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford (above) scores past West Ham United's goalkeeper Darren Randolph during their FA cup quarter-final replay. The match ended 2-1 in favour of the Red Devils.
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford scores past West Ham United's goalkeeper Darren Randolph during their FA cup quarter-final replay. The match ended 2-1 in favour of the Red Devils.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford (above) scores past West Ham United's goalkeeper Darren Randolph during their FA cup quarter-final replay. The match ended 2-1 in favour of the Red Devils.
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford (above) scores past West Ham United's goalkeeper Darren Randolph during their FA cup quarter-final replay. The match ended 2-1 in favour of the Red Devils.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

He praises team for showing spirit, wants to win FA Cup title for fans and players

LONDON • Under-fire manager Louis van Gaal has demanded for the chance to deliver a trophy at Old Trafford after Manchester United booked a place in the FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 win over West Ham on Wednesday.

"I've won everywhere I've worked and I want to win a title here," said the former Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Ajax boss.

"I'm not important. But the club, the fans and players are. When you play a game here at Upton Park and play like we have after a defeat, it shows my team have fighting spirit.

"I do my work and do my utmost best everywhere I worked, and everywhere I went, I won something. That's why I'm here at United. I'm here because I won titles, not because I'm a lousy trainer."

Marcus Rashford opened the scoring in the 54th minute before Marouane Fellaini doubled their lead in the replay. But van Gaal was grateful to goalkeeper David de Gea for pulling off a series of late saves after James Tomkins had reduced the deficit 11 minutes from time.

United will meet Everton in the first of the semi-finals at Wembley next Saturday with a chance of claiming a trophy for the first time in three years.

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    Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has six goals in 11 games. United have won every game in which he netted.

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    The 18-year-old has scored in all three competitions that he has featured in - the Premier League, the Europa League and the FA Cup.

Van Gaal added that there was an over-reaction to their 3-0 away defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. That loss left United in fifth place in the Premier League, four points adrift of Manchester City in fourth, and raised the possibility of the club missing out on the Champions League next season.

"After the game, they said that United were lousy but in spite of that defeat we showed again that we have the spirit," he said.

Whatever criticism is hurled van Gaal's way, even his harshest detractors cannot accuse him of failing to give United's youngsters a chance.

They did him proud on Wednesday, with two 18-year-olds in particular standing out. Defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah showed maturity at the back to help snuff out West Ham's dangermen, including Dmitri Payet and Andy Carroll.

Rashford, who scored twice on his debut against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League, produced another brilliant goal as he capitalised on an error by Michail Antonio.

"I admire that he can score such a goal and can cope with the situation and he can cope with criticism also," van Gaal said.

West Ham must now seek to ensure that when United return for the last-ever game at the Boleyn Ground on May 10, their dreams of Champions League qualification remain intact.

"It is not what we wanted of course, but we gave our best," said West Ham manager Slaven Bilic, whose team lost for the first time in 17 home games.

"We are going to bounce back."

THE TIMES, LONDON, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2016, with the headline 'WE MUST WIN CUP: VAN GAAL'. Print Edition | Subscribe