Manchester: Manchester United defender Chris Smalling says Louis van Gaal has finally discovered a winning formula ahead of Newcastle's visit to Old Trafford on Saturday.

Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal

Van Gaal chopped and changed his side at the start of his United reign last season and had to wait four games for his first Premier League win. But 12 months later, the United manager is reaping the rewards of selecting a more settled line-up.

Full debut for Schweini
And while he may make the odd tweak against Newcastle this weekend, with Bastian Schweinsteiger pressing for a full debut in midfield, continuity appears to be the key.

That is particularly the case in defence with the same goalkeeper and back four likely to continue their ever-present records, having played together for every minute of United's two Premier League wins and their midweek 3-1 Champions League play-off first-leg victory against Club Brugge. "Last season there were that many changes it was hard to get a good run — even though I still don't think we conceded that many goals in the second half of the season," he said.

"But that togetherness and work ethic is showing on the pitch now because we are not letting that many chances in."

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