Wednesday 17 January 2018

Van Gaal not worried about lack of support

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal Photo: PA
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal Photo: PA

Louis van Gaal does not know whether he will be at Manchester United next season if he fails to qualify for the Champions League.

United are six points shy of fourth-placed Manchester City with 13 matches of the season remaining.

When asked whether failure to make the top four or qualify for the Champions League via the Europa League would cost him his job, the United manager said: "It's not a question for me, it's a question for the board of Manchester United, you have to put it to them.

"I have a contract for three years and you know that.''

Speculation has been swirling around Van Gaal ever since United slipped out of the top four and exited the Champions League.

Unlike when David Moyes was under pressure, United have failed to intimate that Van Gaal has their backing.

Some have taken that as a sign that Van Gaal has lost the faith of the board and that they are considering replacing him with Jose Mourinho.

But Van Gaal says he does not mind that the club have not made a statement backing him.

"I am not agreeing with that,'' the Dutchman said when asked if he was disappointed about any lack of public backing from the club. "Because I have said many times that not all the media, but a lot of media, is inventing stories and you don't have to answer on invented stories. I agree with this policy of the club.''

A winless run of eight matches towards the end of the year left Van Gaal's position under scrutiny. but they have lost just once in 2016 and sit fourth in the form table.

Van Gaal has challenged his team to put together a series of wins to break into the top four and ease the considerable pressure on his shoulders.

Victory over Sunderland on Saturday would move United within three points of the Champions League places as the top four are all playing the following day.

Unfortunately for Van Gaal, eight of his players are absent including Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ashley Young remain sidelined while Phil Jones, Adnan Januzaj and Guillermo Varela all suffered injuries in the U21s' 7-0 win over Norwich on Monday.

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