Louis van Gaal has defended his methods at Manchester United ahead of a defining week in the season for both the club and their manager.
Van Gaal’s side have gone through patches this term where they played like the United of old, but all too often they reverted back to looking disjointed and performing poorly.
The 2-0 defeat at Liverpool in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie was evidence of that as the Red Devils went into the midweek clash having won four of their last five outings in all competitions.
Last weekend’s 1-0 reverse at West Brom had already dented their Champions League chances as United dropped to sixth in the standings after being overtaken by West Ham, whom they face in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.
But the Dutchman believes the players are on board with his philosophy and approach in the face of criticism after being dominated by the Reds on Thursday, while he pointed out his team are still technically in with a shout of winning three trophies this season.
“I think it is working because you have to see how we have to work,” Van Gaal told a press conference. “Under which circumstances we have to work and when you don’t have too many players and you have to play in three competitions, then it is very difficult.
“I think it is working. The style is also working. It is not giving the best results. It is not good enough when you think you have to be a champion. Or win the Euro League or the FA Cup.
“It is still possible, but when you see this game [against Liverpool], you can say what you are saying but when you analyse what we have done this season and the other season, then you cannot say that.
“I cannot change your mind because you are thinking [it already] otherwise you don’t put the question to me.”
“We are still in three competitions so we can fight for a lot and it is possible that we are going out [of the Europa League] and then it is a very difficult situation for everyone, but still we have the chance to win something and you have to believe in that.
“I see a lot of your colleagues [in the media] are not believing in that but that was already [the case] for a long time and we are still in three competitions. There are many of my colleagues who are not in three competitions any more.”