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'Jesus didn't begin his walk to the cross until 2pm', says Easter expert Louis van Gaal

Manchester United manager also spoke passionately about how impressive Marouane Fellaini has been in recent weeks.

Image: Matt Dunham/AP/Press Association Images

IF THERE’S ONE thing Louis van Gaal doesn’t enjoy, it’s inaccuracies. So, when a member of the media casually and innocuously wished him a ‘Happy Easter’ before Friday’s press conference, he seemed a little peeved. According to him, it was a little early for such a statement.

‘Jesus didn’t start walking to the cross until 2pm’, said the Dutchman.

Aside from the finer details of Jesus’ journey to Calvary, Van Gaal also revealed that Marouane Fellaini will keep his place in the side for Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa.

“When he plays as he does now I cannot change him. The first time I met him he was late [returning for pre-season] because of the World Cup. I didn’t know him. I knew him as a coach, that he played for Man United and Everton and national team, but the first time I saw him was in Manchester.

I have heard a lot of stories about him but from the first training session he did what I asked. He was open and he wants to perform so I am not surprised. He had an unlucky season because he was injured and ill [this year], but when fit he has always played for me because I was looking for a balance and he can give a lot of balance.”

As well as getting on the score-sheet recently against Tottenham and conjuring another eye-catching performance against Liverpool at Anfield, the Belgian also scored three times for his country in recent Euro qualifiers against Cyprus and Israel.

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Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Stoke City - Old Trafford Marouane Fellaini is un-droppable, says Louis van Gaal. Source: Barrington Coombs/EMPICS Sport

With Robin van Persie not yet fit enough to return to the squad, Fellaini should continue to partner Wayne Rooney in attack but there may have to be a change in defence with Chris Smalling struggling with illness.

United are eight points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea with eight games left. Van Gaal acknowledged that, mathematically, they can still win the title but the focus will continue to be on finishing in the top-four.

“You never know we could still be fighting for prizes. When we had 13 points out of out 11 there was a lot of criticism but I said we will be fighting till the end of the season. It is still a rat race. Tottenham and Liverpool  are still in the race but we have given them a blow but we have to play against the first three still so a lot can happen.”

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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