Manchester United record signing Angel Di Maria has urged his club's fans to forget about the glorious era under Sir Alex Ferguson as they are trying to move on and build "something new" with manager Louis van Gaal.

Following the recent home defeat against Southampton, the Old Trafford side are fourth in the table, with as many points as they had at this stage of the competition last season under David Moyes.

Some have started to question whether Van Gaal has actually made any progress from last season's nightmare, after spending more than £150m to bolster the squad.

But Di Maria believes the team have improved since the beginning of the campaign and is confident they will get even better during the second part of the season.

"From the start of the season to now, you can see that we've grown. We weren't so great at the beginning but we've started getting a few victories under our belts," the Argentina international said.

"There are some people saying that we're not playing in a particularly good style or that it's not the old Manchester United - but it's not. We're beginning something new here. We've got a new style, we've got a new manager and we're all working hard to make sure we're putting Manchester United back where it belongs."

The former Real Madrid star appeared to concede the Premier League title, while targeting a Champions League spot and progression in the FA Cup.

"We're focusing on growing as a team. Working hard and getting as many points as we can. We all know the Premier League is difficult but all we're focusing on now is meeting our objectives and our targets for the year," he said.

"So whether it's qualifying for the Champions League, making sure that we do well in the FA Cup or getting as high in the league as possible, these are things we are going for now."

Meanwhile, Di Maria admits he is still adapting to the pace of the Premier League but promises sooner rather than later United's fans will see him replicating his Real Madrid form.

"It is difficult for a player, especially when you come to a new club," he said.

"You just want to arrive and you want to show them how well you can play. So when these things happen, it is unfortunate but, that said, the important thing was that when I came back, I needed to make sure that I could help the team and that's what I did. It's important for me and important for the team to be really doing my best and showing what I am capable of."