United returned to the top of the league for the first time in over two years after beating Sunderland on Saturday 3-0, after City had suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.
Van Gaal’s side has suffered its fair share of criticism so far this season, with fans and media accusing the Dutchman of depriving United of any attacking instinct in favour of a more rigid style of football. However, Van Gaal said his team is much better balanced now than it was 12 months ago.
“You need luck, but the balance of the team is better than last season,” he said.
“Because of that we need to win our games.
“We shall improve every week, yes. I don’t see it every week, but see that we are better as a team and a selection.
“I rotate more now because I can. Last year in my opinion I didn’t have the balance.
“I have let 20 or 25 players go. So it’s a new team.”
The United manager added that his players had finally started to buy into his concept of structure and into his view for the club.
“The manager has influence, but the players much more, he said.
“They have to build up a structure in the dressing room and that’s really important. They have to accept that structure.
“That is why I do that every season – every season I shall do that – because I think we need that new stimulus.”