Under Van Gaal's watch, United have won three of their past four Premier League fixtures to sit fourth in the table as they continue their bid to resemble the powerhouse that Ferguson built after a lacklustre 2013-14 campaign.
The United legend had a big hand in getting successor David Moyes to the club, but the former Everton man lasted just nine months in the role before Van Gaal was brought in.
And Ferguson said he was happy with the attitude taken by the former Netherlands coach.
"Louis van Gaal has made a lot of changes and, thinking about that, actually maybe he's doing the right thing, to clear the decks and build his own team," Ferguson told MUTV.
"Because he's got the experience and coaching ability to do that. The way he's approached it I think has been brilliant."
Ferguson, a United director, retired in May 2013 after 27 years in the managerial job.
The now 72-year-old insisted he has no regrets about calling time on his illustrious career in charge of the United first team, but also said he misses the ins and outs of managing.
"It was the first time I've ever had a holiday in my life in December," Ferguson said.
"And I'm sitting there at pool side in Abu Dhabi and I said to [my wife] Cathy, 'I should be at Carrington.'"
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