Louis van Gaal says Manchester United can still win the Premier League as boss praises Marouane Fell
Louis van Gaal says Manchester United can still win the Barclays Premier League, even though his side sit eight points behind leaders Chelsea having played a game more going into the run-in.
Van Gaal also admitted that Marouane Fellaini has become almost undroppable, given his performances in United's recent run of form.
Victory over Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday would put some pressure on neighbours Manchester City - currently second - who don't play until Monday at Crystal Palace.
Van Gaal - who confirmed that Robin van Persie is still injured - said: 'There is still a rat race (for fourth) that Liverpool and Tottenham are involved in.
'We have given them a blow but we still have to play the top three teams.
'A lot can happen. Still we can win the title, mathematically. We can do that.'
Fellaini is expected to start against Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League after coming to the fore under Van Gaal this season.
And the United manager revealed that Fellaini has emerged as one of his most valuable players as he urged his squad to aim high between now and the end of the season.
'I cannot change Fellaini given the way he is playing at the moment,' said Van Gaal.
'I had heard a lot of stories about him before I met him here but from the first training session he did everything I asked.
'He was open and wanting to perform well so I am not surprised.
'He has been unlucky with injuries and illness but when he has been fit he has always played for me.'
It was expected Van Persie would return this weekend from his ankle injury but Van Gaal said he is still not match fit.
'We have a process,' Van Gaal said. 'He has to go to the final football coach before he comes into my group and he is not there yet. He is still not in my group.'