Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has backed Louis van Gaal to be a huge success at Old Trafford after suggesting that his compatriot is the best possible candidate to turn the club's fortunes around.
The retired Dutch international claims there's nobody better to return the Red Devils to the Premier League summit, and despite their recent wobble remains confident they'll qualify for the Champions League next season.
Van der Sar's comments couldn't come at a better time, just as supporters are questioning the team's credentials to finish in the top four after a wretched run of three consecutive defeats without scoring against Chelsea, Everton and West Bromwich Albion.
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However, the 44-year-old is adamant that Manchester United can still achieve their goal, and says the players will take confidence from the manager's unwavering self-belief ahead of crucial matches against Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Hull City.
"Louis never has a lot of doubts in his life, so that's great," Van der Sar was quoted saying by The Express. "I think it is important to have a strong manager who really know his stuff.
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"He had success with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich and the national team. If he couldn't do it [turn round United's fortunes] it would be difficult to find someone else who could."
Van der Sar actually played under Van Gaal during his time with Ajax and the Netherlands national team, so he's pretty well placed when it comes to assessing the veteran coach's qualities.
"The manager – who I have a lot of faith in and experienced a lot with at Ajax in the mid-90s and also with the national team – has his own philosophy of how to work and how to produce the kind of football he wants to see," he explained.
Manchester United fans will welcome their former custodian's public show of support for the 63-year-old, particularly amid fresh doubts about Van Gaal's capabilities long-term to bring the glory days back to the Theatre of Dreams in the post Sir Alex Ferguson era.
David Moyes' endured a difficult spell in charge after the Scot's retirement in 2013 and assistant manager Ryan Giggs helped steady the ship at the back end of last season.
Van Gaal's start as Red Devils boss was pretty underwhelming, but he's started to get his ideas and philosophy across to the players which resulted in a significant upturn in form heading into 2015.
This latest succession of losses threatens to mark a disappointing end to his debut campaign in charge, but as long as they stave off the challenge from rivals Liverpool and secure entry into Europe's elite club competition next term then 2014/15 must be regarded as a success.
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