Sunday 23 October 2016

Van Gaal hits out again amid Jose rumours

United boss defends his side's 'sparkling' form as he lashes out at media

Chelsea striker Diego Costa celebrates his late equaliser in the 1-1 Premier League draw with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge yesterday. Photo: PA
Chelsea striker Diego Costa celebrates his late equaliser in the 1-1 Premier League draw with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge yesterday. Photo: PA
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal and assistant Ryan Giggs are pictured during the 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Photo: Reuters

Louis van Gaal stood his ground yesterday amid growing speculation his time as Manchester United manager will be ended early.

Jose Mourinho continues to be linked with the Dutchman's job, but in the wake of the 1-1 draw at Chelsea which did little to boost his side's top-four hopes, Van Gaal hit out.

He claimed United have no need to deny the reports of his likely early exit, and called his team's display at Stamford Bridge "sparkling".

"You have spoken with (United's executive vice-chairman) Ed Woodward?" asked Van Gaal.

"Why do they have to deny? I don't interfere neither (sic). Why do the club have to deny it when you are creating stories. Okay, okay, so you haven't spoken to Ed Woodward or (United's owners) the Glazers, so you are inventing this story.

"I don't have to answer this question."


Addressing a reporter, he said: "You are getting the sack tomorrow. What is your name? Then I can announce the name also. (You can) look at your wife, or maybe you have children, or a nephew or something like that.

"We have to do better. We have to improve in that way. But I'm happy with the performance. It was not a 'boring' match, so for the third time in a row it was sparkling. So I also hope to get the support of the media this week."

Van Gaal has regularly been criticised over United's tactics, but there was little wrong with the display in west London.

United took the lead early in the second half through a fine finish from Jesse Lingard, but as Chelsea responded with increased pressure they secured a deserved equalising goal in added time with Diego Costa's shot from close range.

The draw will have done interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddinnk's stated aim of a top four place no good with the Blues 17 points behind fourth-placed Manchester City with 13 games to go and suffered the further blow of defender Kurt Zouma being removed on a stretcher with what appeared a serious knee injury.

Hiddink said: "The rest of the season is hopefully too much (for Zouma to be ruled out for), but he will have an examination, so I can't speculate about that."


Mourinho, meanwhile, said yesterday he was itching to get back into football and insists a return is on the horizon.

Mourinho has been out of work after he was sacked at Stamford Bridge for the second time in December following a dire start to their defence of the Premier League title.

The Portuguese has been heavily linked with the United job, with reports that communication between the two parties has already begun, despite Van Gaal insisting he will not give the job up.

The Portuguese has hinted at a job in England after stating his family home will remain in London.

"I stopped when I left Chelsea in 2007, for a few months, and now is the second time I stop in 15 or 16 years, so it is not a drama. But for sure, I will be back soon," he said.

"At this moment I don't know where football will take me, because in football you never know. But as a family, our home will be in London.

"To be fully happy I need everything, so I go back to football. I think it's my natural habitat. I have worked since I can remember, and as a manager since 2000."

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