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Monday 26 September 2016

LVG fires another salvo at the media on his future

Defiant Van Gaal says media scrutiny of his job at United is unfair

United Boss Louis van Gaal Photo: Getty
United Boss Louis van Gaal Photo: Getty
Wayne Rooney is fit again as Manchester United face Aston Villa at Old Trafford today Photo: Reuters

Louis van Gaal believes his position at Manchester United is being unduly scrutinised.

This has been another forgettable campaign in the post-Alex Ferguson era, with United trying to wrestle their way into top four as the season comes to a close.

They also have an FA Cup semi-final to look forward to after overcoming West Ham in midweek, but that has done little to quell the speculation that this could be Van Gaal's last season at the Old Trafford helm.

Jose Mourinho continues to be strongly linked with the post and the Dutchman bristled when his future was broached on the eve of the Premier League clash with Aston Villa.

"I don't discuss that with you," Van Gaal said.

"You can ask every time the same questions about what is happening with me - I don't discuss it with the media.

Problem

"The media is writing that, that is your problem, but I am not discussing.

"I read only my position in the media, not the position of other managers. I don't agree with that.

"It's not my problem, it's not my problem."

Meanwhile, today's home clash with rudderless Aston Villa looks the ideal opportunity for United captain Wayne Rooney to gain more minutes and to build some momentum.

Wednesday's 2-1 win at Upton Park propelled United into the FA Cup semi-finals and was an impressive response to Sunday's 3-0 loss at title-chasing Tottenham.

It leaves them four points off fourth-placed Manchester City - a gap they could bridge only to be denied Champions League football should their near neighbours and Liverpool seal European glory.

A maximum of five teams from one league can qualify for the Champions League, meaning if United's rivals both won their competitions and finished outside the top four then fourth spot would become a Europa League berth.

Such a scenario is not forming part of Van Gaal's thought process right now, though, as he looks to build on a positive midweek performance.

"Consistency is very important, of course," he said. "The players, also the manager and his staff, have been frustrated because we were not consistent this season.

"But there are circumstances that exists (that has made) this situation because when you have to line up every week another team because of injuries, it is difficult to make a consistent team-building process

"But still we are in the race for the first positions in the league and still we are in the FA Cup so I am very happy that we can do that."

The number of injuries Van Gaal has had to deal with at times has brought with it the chance for young players to stake their claim.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah has impressed since getting his shot in the first team as has Marcus Rashford, whose fine strike at West Ham improved his record to six goals in 11 matches.

Put to Van Gaal that it took Cristiano Ronaldo 40 matches to reach that goal tally at United, he retorted: "You can compare apples with pears, I think, so I don't agree with what you want to suggest. I don't agree. We have to wait and see.

"Of course it is fantastic what Marcus has done until now but you cannot compare him with Ronaldo. He also plays in another position, I believe. He was not a striker at Manchester United.

"I don't know because I was not there and at that time, I was occupied with my club at that time, but you cannot compare," he added.

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