Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal stepped forward yesterday in his belief that his club can still challenge for the title this season, sparking a tightly-contested poll with Sky Sports.
The Red Devils have made a number of summer changes from the team that disappointingly finished seventh last term, with up to seven players coming in and more than 20 departing Old Trafford.
During the pre-season campaign, victories over Italian duo Roma and Inter Milan were followed by a fantastic 3-1 win over European champions Real Madrid.
It seemed that Van Gaal’s magic touch from the World Cup had instantly arrived in Manchester, though that was until his side self-destructed at home to Swansea City on the opening day of the Premier League season.
Despite an embarrassing cup exit at the hands of MK Dons and two draws against lowly Sunderland and Burnley, Van Gaal is adamant that his side can still put up a challenge this season.
“Yes, it is possible. This is because we have to play a lot matches and we are not so much behind.” He said, quoted by the Telegraph.
“We have spoken about the target when we [Van Gaal and Woodward] had the meetings together. A club like Manchester United needs to put targets and I also put targets. I don’t think it is unreasonable target [to finish in the top three].
Following his statement, Sky Sports opened a poll to the public asking whether they believe the Dutchman had a case for United to finish in at least a top three spot.
According to the Sky Sports News Twitter feed, 51% backed the Old Trafford outfit to finish in the guaranteed Champions League spots.
Such a position, however, would mean finishing above at least two of either Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool or Arsenal.
Whilst not an impossible task, in United’s fragile state it does take a brave man to bet on one of those four missing out on a Champions League spot to Van Gaal’s team this season.