Jones was named man of the match as Van Gaal won his first match at Old Trafford, beating Valencia 2-1 thanks to a stoppage-time goal from substitute Marouane Fellaini last night.
“It was a great game for us to test ourselves against a top Valencia team,” Jones said. “At times they caused us a few problems but we worked well and battled well. We could’ve played better in stages but we deserved to win.
“It’s been a great pre-season for us. We’re learning a new system, we’re still learning but we’re enjoying it. We’ve looking forward to the start of the season now.”
Van Gaal prefers to play a back three with wing-backs pushing on, and Jones is among those who has found his role in the team changed.
“I think we’re working well,” he added. “We’re watching a lot of videos and working in training and games and improving all the time. We’re looking forward to the start of the season.”
United will be back at Old Trafford on Saturday for their Premier League opener against Swansea, the first true test of Van Gaal’s overhaul.
“All the lads are looking forward to it,” Jones said. “It’s what we’ve worked hard for..”
Wayne Rooney had missed a penalty before Darren Fletcher’s deflected shot put United ahead early in the second half. Rodrigo Moreno capitalised on Tom Cleverley’s mistake to level but Fellaini, who had come on alongside fellow Belgian World Cup player Adnan Januzaj, had the final word.
But while Jones sounded positive, Van Gaal was less impressed with United’s display even if he could take confidence from the final outcome.
“I think it was our worst match today,” he said. “We did not play to the capacity that we showed in the US too much. There were a lot of wrong choices, wrong passes. We didn’t press so good but I think Valencia is a very good team, very comfortable on the ball and not so easy to press against.
“In spite of that, we have dominated the game and only for 15 minutes in the second half were we not dominating. I think at the end we were winners because we were fighting until the last minute and that is a good signal.”
Van Gaal also enjoyed his first experience on the Old Trafford sidelines.
“It was fantastic,” he said. “On the pitch they are shouting and screaming your name so yeah, but it’s also a big pressure. They expect a lot. You cannot in three or four weeks change everything and the players cannot change either so we have to wait and see and develop. We need time.
“We have a lot of injuries now. We don’t have to forget that (Jonny) Evans was injured, (Luke) Shaw was injured, (Antonio) Valencia was injured and these are three defenders so we have to wait and see if they can play on Saturday. But the main thing is we have won in spite of playing our worst.”
Last night’s Capital One Cup results: Barnsley 0 Crewe Alexandra 2, Birmingham City 3 Cambridge United 1, Blackburn Rovers 0 Scunthorpe United 1, Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Cheltenham Town 0, Bristol City 1 Oxford United 2, Burton Albion 2 Wigan Athletic 1, Charlton Athletic 4 Colchester United 0, Exeter City 0 Bournemouth 2, Leeds United 2 Accrington Stanley 1, Luton Town 1 Swindon Town 2, Millwall 1 Wycombe Wanderers 0, Milton Keynes Dons 3 AFC Wimbledon 1, Morecambe 0 Bradford City 1, Oldham Athletic 0 Middlesbrough 3, Port Vale 6 Hartlepool United 2, Portsmouth 1 Peterborough United 0, Rochdale 0 Preston North End 2, Rotherham United 1 Fleetwood Town 0, Sheffield Wednesday 3 Notts County 0, Shrewsbury Town 1 Blackpool 0, Southend United 1 Walsall 2, Stevenage 0 Watford 1, Tranmere Rovers 0 Nottingham Forest 1, Wolves 2 Northampton Town 3, Yeovil Town 1 Gillingham 2, York City 0 Doncaster Rovers 1, Reading 3 Newport County 1.