Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has piled a heap of praise on Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal. Van Gaal has come under great scrutiny during his eight months at United as he struggled to find the right combination to make the Red Devils tick.

Whata s more, there have been several pot shots aimed at the Dutchmana s personality. Former Barcelona striker Hristo Stoichkov called the 63-year-old a scuma recently, so Hasselbainka s word of appreciation will definitely be welcome.

In recent weeks, United have turned over a new leaf, winning back to back crunch games against Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, scaling down some of the criticism being aimed at the United manager.

Talking about the turn of events and what he thought about Van Gaal, Hasselbaink seemed quite convinced about his compatriota s ability as a manager.

“He is somebody who tells you exactly what he wants, how he wants it and when he wants it. There are no prisoners. But he is a very loving man and a top coach, one of the best in the world. “

“Of course he has come in for criticism because he is manager of one of the biggest clubs in the world, but let’s not forget, Manchester United is changing.

“I am 100 per cent [sure] he will succeed and they will play attractive football.”

Hasselbaink, who scored 69 goals for Chelsea in his five years at the club, also spoke fondly about the duoa s friendship off the pitch.

“He [Van Gaal] is mild! I’m telling you. I need to find the time to go over to Manchester and have a cup of coffee or tea with him when he is not that busy.

Fourth on the table at the moment, United lead fierce rivals Liverpool by 5 points and trail Arsenal by one. Next, they welcome Aston Villa to Old Trafford on Saturday, in a game that is to be played right after Arsenal host Liverpool.

Following Aston Villa, United take on a noisy neighborsa Manchester City who are just two points ahead of the Red Devils and in second place. Should results go in Van Gaala s sidea s favour, United could find themselves in second place by next Sunday.