Louis van Gaal: I want Manchester United to be just like the Netherlands

Dutch manager takes up his role at Old Trafford this week

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The Independent Football

Louis van Gaal says that he hopes his Manchester United players follow the example of the Netherlands side he guided to third place at the World Cup.

"I hope my new group in Manchester will be just like this one," said Van Gaal. "We set an objective and we believed in that objective. We wanted first place.

"And really we were very, very close to doing that - only penalties stopped us.

"Not to be able to achieve that objective was so disappointing but we won third place, we got a medal which is fantastic.

"Now the first thing we have to do at United is the same, to all start singing from the same hymn sheet. Then we'll see if we do that then all's well that ends well."

United fly out for their pre-season tour of America on 18 July, when Van Gaal will officially start work as the club's manager. He will be unveiled at Old Trafford this Thursday.

One player who will not be on the tour with United is the Dutch striker Robin van Persie, who has been given three weeks off by Van Gaal.

United defender Chris Smalling has described pre-season as a "crucial" period for the team and the manager.

"Pre-season is always massively important and the tour gives the manager an opportunity to get all the players together and drill home his ideas that will last for the rest of the season. It’s a crucial period.”