The squad are five points worse off than at the same stage as last season, but have performed much better and produced an entertaining style of football.
Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur has left Man United six points off a Champions League spot and 13 behind leaders Chelsea.
Speaking after the game, Neville claims the performances have improved all-around.
“I know that over the last few weeks Jose Mourinho has been criticised at times. When you don’t win games and you say your team are playing well and it will come, but it doesn’t, you can sometimes look a little bit foolish as a coach,” he said.
“But I’ve said it before, I like this team a lot better than the team of last season, even though they might be in a worse points position.
“I like the way they are playing more. I like Henrikh Mkhitaryan and I like the way Anthony Martial has played in the last couple of weeks on the left. There’s pace back in the team.
“Jose Mourinho has stumbled on something a little bit with that back four, but in terms of the team I like them a lot more than last season. As a Manchester United fan I like them more.
“They have to go on now and kick on from this and win game after game and get the results the performances have been suggesting.
“It was a big moment today.”
While van Gaal got off to a brilliant start last year, he lacked the end product and was fired after failing to qualify for the Champions League.
There is plenty of time left to the campaign and although there is a lot of ground to cover, it’s clear that Mourinho’s team is just a few games away from clicking.