United boss feels victory against Crystal Palace in today's final will bring solace to Red Devils' dispirited season
London: Louis van Gaal claims victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final today would restore Manchester United's pride after a turbulent season.
Louis van Gaal
United have struggled to live up to their potential under van Gaal and failed to qualify for next season's Champions League after finishing fifth in the Premier League.
The Dutchman is keen to play down the impact a Cup final triumph at Wembley would have for his own future. However, he feels it is time United ended a three-year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup for the first time since 2004.
"When you win silverware, it is always important. It's important for the players because qualification is not a title. A title is the FA Cup or the championship," Van Gaal said.
"For players, it is very important, because they can look at and can hold a cup. That's an exciting moment also, especially here in England, because the FA Cup is a big title. We are playing in the prestigious temple in England, so everything confirms how important this cup is."
Manchester United's Phil Jones (left) Ashley Young (smiling), Wayne Rooney and Memphis Depay during a training session in Manchester on Thursday. Pic/Getty Images
United's last silverware came in 2013, when they won EPL under Alex Ferguson and then the Community Shield under his successor David Moyes.
"I think the interests of the club and the fans are much more important than the interests of the manager," Van Gaal said.
"Of course, you set your own aims, and that's one of the aims that I have always had. It's always exciting when you are so close, but close is not enough. You have to win it. A club like Manchester United need silverware. You have read that all season. We need that. The players need that also. That's why it's so good when we win, but we still have to beat Crystal Palace.
"That's not so easy. They have a lot of quality. They defend well, and they have a lot of speed on the counter attack, so it shall be very difficult. The most interesting point is that we are able to win something, and now we can win something. We are very close. But still you have nothing when you don't win."
Number of times Manchester United have won the FA Cup
Number of years since the Reds last won the FA Cup