Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville believes that the cluba s current manager Louis Van Gaal must be given time to prove himself. Neville insists that Van Gaal should not be sacked even if the club fails to make it into the top four by the end of the season.

United may have accumulated the points over the last few months, but they have failed to put in performances of quality over the time period. The club spent a massive A?150m in the summer on new players to ensure a route back into the Champions League.

Yet, the Red Devilsa place in the top four is far from certain. They lie fourth on the table, a point behind Arsenal and a point above Southampton. In fact there are just four points separating the team in third place a Arsenal and the team in eighth a Tottenham Hotspur.

While Neville acknowledged how big a disaster it would be if United dona t make it into the Champions League this season, he insisted that Van Gaal must stay at the club.

a Louis van Gaal should not be sacked,” he said. “It would be a terrible season for Man United and Louis van Gaal. He would probably say it was a big failure because he knows his job this season.

a He has to get in the Champions League but, on the other hand, if he didna t, no, you cana t just sack a manager one year and then sack another manager the year after. Where do you go from there?

a There has to be a level of continuity. I absolutely believe this time there will be continuity at Man United and they will stand by him even if he doesna t finish in the top four and thata s the right thing to do.”

The Dutch manager has been promised a similar summer with Gareth Bale and Mats Hummels being their prime targets in the upcoming transfer window. Yet, those plans could go for a toss if they dona t make it to the Champions League.

It may be a test going into the rest of the season, but Neville believes that United will make it.

a I still think Manchester United will finish in the top four,” he said. “I think they will scrape in. At the start of the season I thought theya d finish third.

a There is a period in March where they have Arsenal in an FA Cup quarter-final, then they have Spurs the Sunday after and Liverpool after that. There is an international break and then they have got Aston Villa, Man City and Chelsea.

a That will be a big period but, actually, Van Gaal and Man United started the season really poorly and these big games came along and they seemed to grow.

“Ia d like to think these games will inspire some of the bigger players at Man United. They need to step up their performances. There is no doubt about that.a