Louis van Gaal is "happy" after Manchester United sealed a victory over Everton and believes that the Red Devils can be genuine title contenders if they beat Manchester City in the derby. The Dutch manager saw his side seal a 3-0 victory over the Merseyside club at Goodison Park on 17 October.
Before the international break, the 20-times English champions suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of Arsenal at the Emirates. Following the loss, United bounced back with a comfortable victory over Everton.
City are on top of the table with 21 points, two points ahead of Arsenal and United, who are in second and third spot respectively. A victory for Van Gaal's side over their local rivals in the next match can see them move above league leaders. He has expressed his delight after his side bounced back from the defeat against Arsenal.
"I am very happy with the response of my players and I am very proud of the performance. I think it was an excellent performance and maybe it is the start of many, many victories," Van Gaal said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
"We have to be more consistent, so next week when we win against Manchester City then we can say, 'OK, now we think maybe about title aspirations'. I am a very happy coach. I am very proud of the players, it's a fantastic performance. I think after the defeat to Arsenal we needed that also so therefore it's very important that we won," the Dutch manager said.
Morgan Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera scored in the first half against Roberto Martinez's side. It was followed by a second half goal from captain Wayne Rooney, which made sure the Old Trafford club sealed three points.
This was Rooney's second goal in the league of this season. The England international has been subjected to heavy criticism for his poor goal scoring form. However, Van Gaal has backed the former Toffees striker and has urged him to find the back of the net regularly for United.
"It is fantastic and I am very happy that he has scored his first goal against Everton since 2007. Maybe it is the start for many, many goals," the United manager explained.