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Premier League

Manchester United will be going out to win the Premier League, says Darren Fletcher

Louis van Gaal has instilled a winning mentality in the squad, says Scottish midfielder

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher says the club "will be going out to win the league" this season under new boss Louis van Gaal.

Under David Moyes last term United suffered their worst season since 1990, finishing seventh.

But Fletcher, who has been named captain for three of United's four pre-season matches under Van Gaal, says the club are regaining their "winning mentality" and will be title challengers next season and does not consider moving up from seventh to the top of the Premier League impossible.

"I don’t think so, no. We go out to win the league," said Fletcher after an impressive 3-1 victory over Real Madrid in Michigan.

"It is a dangerous mindset to have, to target fourth place. We are not players or a club that thinks like that and we will be going out to win the league."

Louis van Gaal is set to decide the future of a number of United flops

The match was played in front of a record 109,318 crowd at The Big House, a record for a football match in the US. United were impressive playing in Van Gaal's preferred 5-3-2 formation, with Ashley Young highly impressive as a left wing back.

Fletcher also praised the team's performances in pre-season so far, where United have won all four matches.

"They have been fantastic. The results are important, but so are the performances and they have got better with every game. Hopefully that can continue, but the main thing is winning games and getting that mentality back.

"We can feel [the winning mentality] coming back. Before the first game [against Los Angeles Galaxy], we spoke about doing that – winning and getting the feel-good factor of winning because it breeds confidence."

Manchester United now play Liverpool in the International Champions Cup and wants to make a statement ahead of the new campaign against their fierce rivals.

"It’s Man United v Liverpool. I know it’s only pre-season and it’s just a summer competition, but when United play Liverpool, it is always a big deal," Fletcher said. "We want to win every match and it is no different when we play Liverpool."

Fletcher is in the running for the captaincy under Van Gaal, though Wayne Rooney could lead the side against Swansea on 16 August.