International Sport

I won’t quit, says defiant Van Gaal after United draw

Image: Football Soccer – Manchester United v Chelsea – Barclays Premier League – Old Trafford – 28/12/15 Manchester United’s manager Louis van Gaal looks dejected Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff Livepic

LONDON (Reuters) – Under-fire manager Louis van Gaal said he would not quit after Manchester United extended their run without a victory to eight games in all competitions with a 0-0 draw with champions Chelsea in the Premier League on Monday.

Sixth-placed United produced an improved display at Old Trafford, having limped to a 2-0 defeat at Stoke City on Saturday, enjoying two-thirds of the possession without being able to break down Chelsea’s defence.

Asked about the constant media speculation over his job, Van Gaal told BT Sport: “I cannot have any influence on that. I can only work with my players and you have seen my players are fighting for me and they have given a good performance.

“Even after this result, the fans were applauding so I cannot say I am very much concerned but in this football world you never know.

“I have full confidence in the board and in my players. When the players can give such a performance under this pressure, then it is not any reason to resign for me. Maybe the media wants that but I shall not do that,” added Van Gaal.

The Dutchman said United should have been given two penalties after Chelsea midfielder Willian handled the ball and when Cesar Azpilicueta challenged his former team mate Juan Mata in the box.

“We hit the post twice when the keeper was beaten, had a big chance in the second half and two penalty cases … so we are forcing the luck but don’t have the luck we need,” explained Van Gaal.

“Against Stoke I said in the first half we didn’t dare to play but that’s a big difference today, we dared to play and pressed a lot.

“We were the dominant team, we created chances, we shot on goal and only gave three chances away. Against a team like Chelsea … that’s not bad.”

United supporters have been critical of Van Gaal, his tactics and the players in recent weeks but the Dutchman was heartened by their reaction on Monday.

“They applauded the players … and they were enthusiastic,” he said. “Of course, a lot of fans are disappointed because we need a win. I know that, the players know that, every member of staff knows that, the board knows that.

“People are still applauding, not everyone but most of them. The most important thing is the players can do what they have done today and then the fans can be satisfied.”

(Writing by Tony Jimenez; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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