By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Louis van Gaal has admitted that his Manchester United job is on the line.
The under-pressure Dutchman has revealed his surprise at Jose Mourinho’s dismissal and confessed that it could be curtains for him as well if United do not start winning.
Van Gaal’s side are without a victory in their last five games, drawing three in a row before consecutive defeats against Wolfsburg and Bournemouth.
The Premier League giants host Norwich at Old Trafford on Saturday aiming to overturn their barren spell.
The poor run has heaped pressure on Van Gaal, with Mourinho’s exit from Chelsea on Thursday emphasising once again the precarious nature of top-level management.
“It was a big surprise for me, I didn’t expect that,” said Van Gaal. “He’s a fantastic manager with a record that nobody has in this football world, but it is still possible.
“The main thing is always of course the results and, second, the chemistry between the players and manager and his staff. I cannot judge what was happening in Chelsea, but I was very surprised.”
Asked if it means that no manager is safe, he replied: “It’s like that bit we know that in advance. It’s this world. I have the full confidence of my board and my players, I feel, and it’s like that.
“But we have to get results, we have to win, we know that – the players know it, I know it, and my staff know it. We have to win because when you lose too much it’s the end of the world for me also.”
Van Gaal acknowledged that United fans are unhappy but once again insisted that the mood in the camp was good, despite reports to the contrary.
“Yes it’s fine,” he added. “But I’ve said already more than once. I have seen articles that it’s not like that. It’s a bit crazy I think, but that is this world.
“It’s always like that when you lose, fans have to prove their belief again. When you lose that is less at that moment.
“The board of directors can see what you can do as a manager in practice but the fans cannot see that, so when you lose you need the belief of the fans, and that is a question of the fans not the manager to answer.”