The Dutchman arrived at the club’s Carrington training ground on Wednesday to begin life as the Red Devils' new manager, and faced the press for the first time on Thursday afternoon.
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Van Gaal says he has realized in the past two days the importance of the club – and its sponsors – but believes the team must improve on the pitch.
"It is the biggest club because of how much it is known worldwide but in sport you are never the biggest club. Last year we were 7th [in the Premier League] so we were not the biggest club," the Dutchman said at his unveiling. "When I was in China, and recently in Brazil, everybody asks about Manchester Unted, all over the world people are talking about Manchester United. That's the difference. There’s a lot of expectation but also a great challenge because of that.
"I have coached Barcelona who are number one in Spain, I have coached Ajax who are number one in the Netherlands and Bayern Munich who are the biggest in Germany. Now I am at the biggest in England."
Van Gaal would not be drawn on giving any predictions as to how his team will perform in his first season in charge, but insists he will do his utmost and try to get the players to buy into his philosophy.
"To me the challenge is always first, not fourth, but it depends on how the players and the manager click," he continued. "I will do my utmost best, that is what I can give, I cannot give predictions because you never know. It’s the biggest club in the world, within two days I know already how important Manchester United is but also how important the sponsors are.
"I have to work, I have to prepare a team, I have to adapt to this big club. It will not be easy but I will do my utmost best, when you see my career you can see what I have won, and that I can say. The future shall show if I can do that again."