Friday 30 September 2016

Louis van Gaal: Man United have gone backwards but I will still be in charge next season

James Ducker

Published 18/05/2016 | 08:13

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal applauds fans during a lap of honour after last night's game
Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal applauds fans during a lap of honour after last night's game Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine

Louis van Gaal admitted on Tuesday night that Manchester United have gone backwards this season but insisted he would still be in charge next term and claimed his team could win the Premier League title.

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The embattled United manager received a mixed reception from the Old Trafford crowd before ­delivering a post-match address to fans in which he thanked them for their “unconditional support, however we have played and however things have gone on the field”.

United’s 3-1 victory over Bournemouth meant the club ­finished fifth, behind neighbours Manchester City on goal difference, and failed to qualify for the Champions League after their lowest scoring league season for 26 years.

Banners adorned with the words “THE GLAZER$, £D, LVG, THE DEATH OF MUFC”, “Hopefully Bye Bye Van Gaal” and “Time To Go Louis, Not Good Enough” were brandished by some supporters but Van Gaal was defiant on the subject of his future, despite acknowledging his team’s shortcomings.

Asked if he was confident he would still be the United manager next season, Van Gaal said: “Yes. Because I have signed a three-year contract.

“Of course [it is a step backwards] because our aim in the first year and also the second and the third shall be the Champions League. It is the highest level and a club like Manchester United has to play at that level but there are more clubs that want to play at that level and you have seen that.

“You can also say that one penalty in a certain game has been very important to us [having missed out on goal difference]. Today we didn’t receive a penalty and in the Leicester game we didn’t receive two penalties.

“We need luck and I cannot say we had too much luck this season but that is not the only reason. We did not create too much. Defensively we are one of the best teams but attacking wise we have to improve.

“It is always possible [to win the title next season] because [champions] Leicester City was more or less a relegation team. We are fourth [last season] and fifth this. But in sport nothing is normal. You have to show it and fight for it.” Van Gaal thanked the fans for their support despite the team “not always playing very well” and said the strong uptake on season ticket renewals reflected their commitment to the club.

Telegraph.co.uk

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