Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal says the main thing is to win games. Getty Images

Louis van Gaal claims Manchester United have been the best side in the Premier League in the last 20 games – ahead of leaders Chelsea, Manchester City and the in-form Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham.

Even though the Old Trafford side had an inconsistent start to the campaign, they have lost just one game in 19 and risen to third place in the Premier League table -- 12 points behind the Blues and five away from Manuel Pellegrini's side. On Monday they ran out 3-1 winners over Preston North End to book a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

"When you see the score of the last 19 or 20 matches, we are the best team in the league," the boss said ahead of the visit to Swansea on Saturday 21 February.

"I am never 100% happy. We can play better than we are now, but the main thing is to win games. We've shown our team spirit many times this season. It's good for the fans and for me."

The boss believes his side deserve to have more points than the 47 they have picked up so far in the first 25 games.

"We have lost a lot of points in spite of being the better team, but you have to score at that moment," says Van Gaal.

"I believe every player knows my philosophy and my staff and everyone wants to follow that philosophy. Our team spirit is unbelievable."

The manager says Robin van Persie and Phil Jones are fit for the visit to Wales after they missed the FA Cup victory over Preston, while Michael Carrick is expected to return to training next week.

"They [Jones and Van Persie] are fit to play," Van Gaal told MUTV. "Only Carrick is still injured. I think he shall train with the group next week. I expect that, but you never know. You'll have to wait and see.

"Swansea are a very good team. I like to see them playing. They want to play football. They want to make the game a passing game like we do, so I like that kind of football. I hope it shall be a match like that."