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The Manchester United manager has urged caution over the Red Devils' hopes of claiming a Champions League spot insisting it is "very difficult" to meet the fans' expectations

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has played down his side's hopes of claiming a Champions League spot, insisting he is worried that "nasty" Liverpool could pip the Red Devils to fourth place.

A narrow 1-0 win over Watford on Wednesday night boosted United's hopes of recovering what has been a disappointing Premier League campaign, with Van Gaal's men now level on points with fourth-placed Man City.

But the Dutchman is remaining cautious over his side's chances, telling reporters: "We go step by step. I think Liverpool are a nasty opponent. They won 3-0 against City, and that is not nothing.

"We have to go step by step, because we have four wins in four but we have a small selection. There are players coming back but I still have to solve a problem in my line-up every week.

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"You see how [Marcos] Rojo is struggling, I had to give him 20 minutes, then 50 and today 70. It is easier to do that in the second team, but I'm having to do it in the Premier League.

"I think you can see the statistics with how many players are injured, and then you can see how difficult it was and we are still in with a chance of being in the top four of the Premier League. That's not bad.

"And we're in the FA Cup quarter-final, and that's not bad. And we're still in the Europa League, and that's not bad. But we have still a full programme. We have played 40 games and still have so many to play. It's very difficult to fulfil the expectations."

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