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Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United will not get the credit they deserve following their FA Cup fifth round win over Shrewsbury Town.
Despite a shock 2-1 defeat to FC Midtjylland in the Europa League last Thursday, United were the strong favourites to progress to the FA Cup quarter-finals and they duly lived up to the tag as they overcame their League One opponents 3-0.
Captain Chris Smalling opened the scoring for the visitors before Juan Mata made it 2-0 shortly before the interval with a somewhat controversial free-kick. Jesse Lingard capped a comfortable win for the Premier League side and Van Gaal believes his players deserve credit for safely negotiating a tricky tie.
"Everybody shall say it was against Shrewsbury Town and Manchester United should win this game. But you have seen very difficult results in the FA Cup when the top team is not always winning. I think we have done it fantastically," Van Gaal said.
"I am very pleased because the performance was very good. I said that to my team at half time. They were very committed and they performed our game plan well. We were ahead 2-0 at half time through a lucky goal from Chris Smalling I think but a very good free kick from Juan Mata.
"I have congratulated my players but now we have to beat Midtjylland on Thursday."
United were widely criticised following their below-par performance in Denmark and they will need to improve if they are to progress to the last-16 of the competition.
Van Gaal knows it will not be easy but he is hopeful they can overturn the first-leg deficit.
"That is not easy because they are well organised and we saw that away. But everything is possible," he added.
"We are still in three competitions so we have to fight for all our chances.
"It is a big game on Thursday because it is a chance to qualify for the Champions League next year but we have to win a lot of matches. It is not so easy. It is easy to say it but to do it is different. But it is possible.
"Then in March we will have a lot of players coming back and we will have a full selection and when we last had our full selection we were first in the Premier League."