Louis van Gaal 'similar' to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United

Ryan Giggs and Louis van Gaal
Ryan Giggs was appointed Louis van Gaal's assistant manager at Manchester United in May

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has "a lot of similarities" to former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, according to Ryan Giggs.

Van Gaal replaced David Moyes as manager in the summer, a year after Sir Alex's 26-year stay at the club ended.

And Giggs, 40, who is now assistant manager at the club under Van Gaal, said the Dutchman's "intensity and preparation" reminded him of Ferguson.

"He demands that in every training session," Giggs told BBC Radio 5 live.

"He wants the same intensity as if it was a game.

"There are a lot of similarities to Sir Alex. He sets standards and if you drop below them he is not happy."

Former Bayern Munich and Barcelona boss Van Gaal, 62, led the Netherlands national team to third place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil prior to joining Manchester United.

In his first news conference at the club he spoke of his "strong personality" - and reminded his audience it was a trait he shared with former United boss Sir Alex.

United moved into the top four for this first time since October with Saturday's 2-1 win at Arsenal, but Giggs says they have been hampered by a lengthy injury list.

Defenders Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Rafael, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans, midfielders Daley Blind and Jesse Lingard and striker Radamel Falcao are all currently sidelined.

"You are seeing attacking football, us trying to score goals and taking the risks but we have not been able to get any consistency due to injuries," said Giggs, who became the most decorated player in English football history under Ferguson at Old Trafford.

However the Welshman believes his side are some way off leaders Chelsea, who he believes are "head and shoulders" above the rest of the Premier League.

Jose Mourinho's side have a six-point lead over second-place Southampton at the top of the table and are 13 ahead of United, who lie fourth.

"Their back four has not changed and they have consistency in their team. They are are head and shoulders above anyone else at the moment."