Louis van Gaal has been backed to guide Manchester United to Premier League glory in his first season at Old Trafford, by Sir Alex Ferguson's former assistant Mike Phelan.
The Dutchman only took charge of Manchester United last month but has already made a positive impact, overseeing five-straight pre-season tour victories.
His team got up and running in style with a 7-0 win against LA Galaxy, before beating Roma and Inter Milan. They then saw off Real Madrid in front of a 105,000 record crowd in Michigan over the weekend before rounding things off by beating arch-rivals Liverpool 3-1 last night.
After a disastrous campaign under David Moyes last time round, Van Gaal has been able to lift the gloom around Manchester United, with various players speaking glowingly about his managerial prowess.
Now Phelan, who left Old Trafford along with Sir Alex Ferguson when the Scot retired in 2013, has gone one step further and suggested that he could guide them to Premier League title at the first attempt.
When asked about whether they could win the title this season, Phelan told TalkSPORT: 'I don't see why not. Some people will probably scoff at that, but everybody is improving year on year.
'Manchester United did take a backward step a little bit, but it is well within their capabilities to surprise a lot of people and rise to the occasion. They look now as though they have got belief in themselves.
'Obviously pre-season is pre-season. They have got to come back now and get some consistency in the league but there will be excitement there.
'They have got, in Van Gaal, somebody with terrific experience and great motivation. Add that to the ingredients already at Old Trafford, in the supporters and the expectation. I'm sure they could be right up there.'
Manchester United are currently ranked as third favourites by bookmakers to win the Premier League behind Chelsea and Manchester City.
They will be undoubtedly boosted by the fact they won't have the distraction - no matter how welcome - of Champions League football in mid-week, and Van Gaal would surely be happy with a top four finish in his first season at the helm at Old Trafford.
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