A Manchester United FA Cup triumph at the “temple” of English soccer would bring a big title to the club and could act as a catalyst to help recapture the glory days, manager Louis van Gaal said on Thursday.
Eleven times FA Cup winners United face Crystal Palace in the final at Wembley stadium on Saturday looking to end their three-year trophy drought.
Despite increasing speculation about the future of the Dutchman, Van Gaal said a victory in the final is far more important for the Premier League club than himself.
“It is not good to speak about my interests. It is important for the club, the players, the manager and his staff,” he told reporters on Thursday.
“I have read that the last FA Cup (we won) is 2004, so also for Manchester United it is a big title.”
“We are playing in the most prestigious temple of England. It confirms how important it is.”
The emergence of youngsters such as Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard has been a shining light in a disappointing season for United, and the 64-year-old hoped the final would be a good education for them.
“You must win these games. In one match you can lose a lot. You have to cope with that pressure. It is a step in their development,” he added.
Van Gaal also confirmed that Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo have recovered from injury.
“There are many players (available). (Marouane) Fellaini is not suspended, Darmian and Rojo are not injured anymore,” he said.
United play Palace in a repeat of the 1990 final won by Alex Ferguson’s men in a replay. That success eased the pressure on the Scot who went on to build a dynasty that won 13 league titles and two Champions Leagues and a host of domestic cups.