Louis van Gaal
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants to progress in the FA Cup Getty Images

Preston midfielder Josh Brownhill is aiming to go for the jugular as the League One club host Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday.

The youngster was released by the Red Devils three years back as a 16-year-old after the coaches at Carrington ground found him too small and light to cater to the needs of the Premier League.

The attacking midfielder, who is known for his ability to find the net out of nothing is willing to avenge the ignominy and show United what they have missed with their discretion.

The midfielder was in the same youth team as current hotshot James Wilson and could have made the first team if the Red Devils has persisted and given him more opportunities to prove himself.

A life-long Manchester City fan, it could not have been a better setting for Brownhill, who will break a million hearts from across the globe if he manages to end United's run in the FA Cup, thus terminating their only realistic hope of a trophy this year.

"I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I went in a room with my ­parents and the coaches Brian McClair and Tony Whelan," Brownhill said.

"When they told me they weren't offering me a ­scholarship it was horrible – my world fell apart.

"I'd chosen United over City, who also wanted me, and I'd been at the club nine years through all the age groups.

"I rubbed shoulders with all the big stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes doing my ­rehabilitation after injuries," Brownhill said.

United are currently fourth on the league table, two points ahead of Arsenal on fifth spot and one behind Southampton who sit on third. The gap between them and Chelsea at the top has escalated to 12 points and anything less than a win here will nullify any chances they had of carving a foundation for themselves with a trophy.