The former United boss spoke about van Gaal in an interview with BT Sport which will air Christmas Day but a snippet of Ferguson praising van Gaal was released on Monday night.
Ferguson was relatively quiet during David Moyes’ time in charge but said in his interview that United would be ‘flying’ in the New Year and praised van Gaal’s coaching ability.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Boxing Day’s game against Newcastle United, van Gaal reacted to the praise from Ferguson.
“It is fantastic when you come to United, you hope Sir Alex shall support you, when he supports you, you need that,” he said.
“There is pressure because he believes in you.”
Given van Gaal’s track record and trophy haul with major European teams such as Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Ajax, it is sure to be the kind of pressure that the Dutchman thrives on at Old Trafford.
It certainly appears as though van Gaal reacted positively to pressure when United struggled early on in the season and has seen his threadbare squad take 19 points from 21, winning six games in a row until the draw with Aston Villa on Saturday.