Louis van Gaal has made it clear that his fight will go on to hold on to the managerial seat at Old Trafford following Manchester United’s goalless draw with Chelsea.
The Red Devils stretched their winless run to eight games after their seventh goalless draw of the season.
Manchester United are now in their lowest ever position at this stage of the season in the last 26 years, but there were some encouraging signs for under-fire van Gaal to rule out any possibility of leaving, as he suggested he might resign after the 2-0 loss to Stoke on Boxing Day.
United, however, manage to put on their best display of this campaign in the first 45 minutes, hitting the woodwork twice and drawing two exceptional saves from Thibaut Courtois.
They didn’t find the net, but the Dutchman, who was applauded largely as he entered and left the pitch last night, was in a boisterous mood when attending the post-match press conference.
“Inside of the club the players are willing to fight for every metre, the manager is willing to fight, the members of staff are willing to fight and the board is very confident in the staff and the manager so it (the negativity) is not inside Manchester United,” he said.
A few United supporters made it clear they want Mourinho in charge, not van Gaal. Red scarves with Mourinho’s face on them were being sold outside the stadium ahead of the match.
However, the majority of the United supporters welcomed the attacking football displayed by their team before the break. The full-backs manage to overlap the wingers, the forwards ran through Chelsea defence several times and the tempo was much higher.
van Gaal said he cannot stop the board acting if they decide to make a change, but the arrogant Dutchman did not looked terribly worried about his future at Old Trafford.
“I cannot have any influence on that,” he told. “I can only work with my players and you have seen that the players are fighting for me; they have given a good performance.
“After this result, the fans were applauding. I cannot say that I am very much concerned, but in this football world you never know.
“When the players can give such a performance with this lot of pressure then it is not any reason to resign for me.
“I am under contract so it’s not a question of staying, it is a question of fulfilling my contract.”
Van Gaal was happy on the whole with his team’s display.
“I think it was a very good performance, but you have to score a goal and we didn’t,” he went on. “Against Stoke 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, with such attackers, that’s not bad.”
van Gaal’s only disappointment from last night was with referee Martin Atkinson, who didn’t award United two penalties.
The first was when Juan Mata went down in the box after a harsh challenge by Cesar Azpilicueta and then Willian’s handball went unnoticed by the referee.
“We had two penalty cases, one the foul on Mata, the other the handball of Willian,” Van Gaal seemed frustrated.
“When I was on the bench I thought it was not on purpose but when you see on the video, you see the hand is going to the ball and not the ball is going to the hand and then you can only say we are unlucky.”