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Moyes warns Van Gaal: Champions League failure will be terminal

Former Manchester United manager David Moyes says Louis van Gaal will need to get the team into the Premier League's top four if he wants to keep his job.

Moyes was Alex Ferguson's replacement when the club great called time on a trophy-laden 27 years in charge in 2013.

But Ferguson's fellow Scot lasted just eight months as United fell to a seventh-place finish in the league, missing out on Champions League qualification.

The former Everton manager said he realised finishing in the top four was the minimum expectation for United and accepts he did not win enough games during his ill-fated tenure.

"I knew Manchester United need to qualify for the Champions League," Moyes told Sky Sports.

"I think Manchester United need to be there. They are a club of status and want to be at that level, if not more. They want to be winning it if they can, never mind qualifying for it. That's what happens at Manchester United. It's that level."

United returned to Europe's elite club competition following a fourth-placed finish under Van Gaal last term.

But they appear likely to miss out on the Champions League for the second time in three campaigns after a 2-1 loss to relegation-threatened Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, a result that left the Red Devils six points off fourth-placed Manchester City.

Moyes did express some sympathy for Van Gaal's plight and criticised the media for its perceived ill-treatment of the ex-Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach. 

"There's so much media attention on Louis van Gaal just now," Moyes said.

"When I lost my job, he was lauded by everybody in football - by you people, the media and everybody else. Now many of you are the ones saying he should lose his job.

"If you got to Manchester United, that's what you get. You get an awful lot of media attention, but I still believe I was the right person to take the job."