Louis van Gaal claims Manchester United can handle the pressure of finishing the season in the top four to seal Champions League qualification.

The 20-time English champions suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on 21 February. The latest result has seen the Red Devils slip to the fourth spot, behind third place Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger's side, along with Southampton, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are fighting for the Champions League spot. United are yet to take on Liverpool and both the north London clubs also face Chelsea and Manchester City in the league.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager remains confident that his side can handle the pressure of the tough fixture list as the race for the top four hots up.

"I think every game that Manchester United plays, you have to manage that, because this is a top club. The players and the manager have to manage that. It's normal," Van Gaal is quoted as saying by United's official website.

Liverpool registered a 2-0 victory over Southampton, while Tottenham came from behind to settle for a 2-2 draw against West Ham United. After the weekend Premier League fixtures, Arsenal are third in the league table with 48 points from 26 games.

The Gunners, United, Southampton, Liverpool and Tottenham are separated by a point each. With five teams competing for the third and fourth spots, Van Gaal will have a huge task on his hands in order to help the Old Trafford club return to the Champions League next season.

Despite the defeat against the Welsh club, Van Gaal admitted that he was happy to see United dominate the match in the away fixtures.

"I shall say to the players that it is very disappointing but, in the process of the development of our play, then it was a very good match. To play like this, so dominant, creating so many chances, you can hardly improve apart from scoring goals, but that is also a bit of luck," the Dutchman told United's official website.