The Scot praised the impact van Gaal has had in stabilising Man United and bringing some consistency back after the tumultuous year under David Moyes.
He also pointed towards van Gaal’s ‘absolutely outstanding’ history as a manager and firmly believes the modern environment of football makes it much harder for any manager to succeed.
“I think he’s a great manager and if you look at what he’s done in his life, it’s absolutely outstanding,” he said.
“He’s in a period when they are rebuilding their team and he has stabilised their team.
“They have lost only two out of the last 18 games.
“But I believe as well the environments of the teams, of the clubs, has changed.
“Everybody is always under severe scrutiny, questioning, the media environment is much more demanding, the social network is a lot more demanding and every game today is a trial where you are judged before and after.”
Under van gaal, United have started to show some of the signs which made them such a force during Fergie’s reign. The Dutchman has made his teams very difficult to beat and on more than one occasion this season, United have come away with three points when they haven’t been the better side.
It’s not been the free flowing attacking football that many expected under van Gaal but having seen the improvement which he has brought to the defence since the 5-3 humbling by Leicester in terms of results, there is every reason to be confident he can apply that improvement to the whole team in the goodness of time.