By Manchester correspondent Alex Stevens

Manchester United will not win the Premier League this season, according to manager Louis van Gaal.

The Dutchman says that the best that Britain’s highest revenue-generating club can expect in the 2015-16 campaign is a runners-up position.

Addressing an audience of United executive season ticket holders on Wednesday night, Van Gaal was asked if United will win their first league crown since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

“No, maybe third or second place is realistic but I expect us to go for it next season,” he said.

But the United boss, who was accompanied to the event at Lancashire County Cricket Club by assistant manager Ryan Giggs, is confident his team will overcome rivals Liverpool in Saturday’s showdown at Old Trafford.

Questioned about the United’s 2-1 defeat to Swansea before the international break, Van Gaal said: “I’m sorry, the defeat was my fault. Don’t worry, we will win on Saturday.”

Van Gaal added that he believed United’s support was the best in the world: “At Barcelona when the team is losing fans wave their white hankies, Munich fans start whistling and at Ajax the fans call for the previous manager.

“Manchester United fans get behind their manager, they get behind their team. That is why United fans are the best in the world.”