James Wilson
Manchester United striker James Wilson scored at Loftus Road Getty Images/Richard Heathcote

Manchester United starlet James Wilson hopes his first goal of the season against Queens Park Rangers can help him get more minutes under manager Louis van Gaal during the second part of the season, even though he has to compete with Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie for a striking role.

The academy star made a sensational debut in the first-team last season under interim manager Ryan Giggs, scoring a brace in the 3-1 victory over Hull, but was unable to replicate that luck until the game at Loftus Road.

Even though he is only 19, Van Gaal has constantly praised him, claiming Wilson adds "much-needed speed to his attack", while assuring he is ready to battle with Falcao and Van Persie for a starting place in his line-up.

"Wilson has already been knocking on the door for a long time, that I have said in many press conferences. That is not only because he substituted Robin van Persie in the last match. I believe in him but he has competition with [Radamel] Falcao and Robin van Persie," Van Gaal recently admitted.

Despite an injury at the start of the campaign hampering his breakthrough, Van Gaal has handed him many opportunities throughout the season and rewarded him in the FA Cup fourth-round game against Cambridge United with a starting role following his impressive performance at QPR.

The starlet is confident on continuing to improve at Old Trafford during the second part of the campaign, while hoping to secure "more minutes and goals".

Speaking ahead of the game against Leicester City on Saturday 31 January, he said to United review: "Even in training now I have felt a lot more confident, it has helped me a lot [to score against QPR.

"They say your first goal of the season is probably the toughest one to score. Hopefully that is just my first one and I can keep going game by game, getting as many minutes as I can and a few more goals."

When questioned whether there was a particular moment when he first felt like a first-team player, Wilson replied: "The first few weeks were, I suppose, a bit strange because I hadn't been around the players for long, which is natural. But the lads were all great with me and were constantly speaking to me.

"I would say that I am a bit of a quiet person anyway, but they have helped me to progress as a person and a footballer. The point was probably just after the first two weeks when I was getting on the bench and making a few appearances. It was then when I thought 'I'm in the squad now'."