Van Gaal unfazed . . . even if City have shot to ruin season
LOUIS VAN GAAL admits Manchester United’s disappointing Barclays Premier League campaign could reach a crescendo in this weekend’s derby against City – not that the Dutchman is feeling any pressure.
Fresh from being knocked out of the Europa League by bitter rivals Liverpool, the inconsistent United make the short journey to the Etihad Stadium for a mouth-watering encounter.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men currently reside in the final Champions League spot and boast a four-point cushion over sixth-placed United with just nine matches remaining.
They are circumstances that have not stressed under-fire van Gaal, though, albeit he concedes defeat tomorrow would likely end his team’s top-four aspirations.
“We are now four points behind, so you have to win otherwise the gap is bigger and bigger and the [number of] matches you have to play are not so big,” the United boss said.
“I think with a gap of seven points and with eight matches then it is very [hard] to recover from that gap.
“It is still possible but it is difficult because West Ham are also in front, not only City.
“I am never feeling pressure. “I do what I have to do.” West Ham now lie between the two Manchester sides and also stand in United’s way in the FA Cup, with the
I am under teams set to do battle in a quarter-final replay at the Boleyn Ground following the international break.
Potential cup success and a shot at Champions League qualification is keeping this difficult campaign ticking over, but defeat tomorrow would see questions about van Gaal’s future increase.
Jose Mourinho’s continued unemployment leaves a shadow over the Dutchman, despite the United manager having a year remaining on his threeyear contract.
“I don’t discuss that with you,” van Gaal said of his future.
“Every day, when we are losing or out of Europa League, you put the questions but why?
“I have a three-year contract and the process is three years.
“For four months now you have been writing I shall be sacked. I have read that four months already. You think that is logical, normal?
“Expectations can be too high. Our purpose was to reach the top three because we want to do better than last year.
“But then you have to analyse the circumstances, how I have to work. I don’t repeat myself. You are repeating putting the same questions when I am losing or out of the Europa League.”
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.