Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal stormed out of a news conference after blaming the media for stories that he is on the brink of losing his job.
Van Gaal, whose team have lost their last three games and have not won in six, dismissed talk that he could be entering his final week in charge at Old Trafford, saying both executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and former manager Sir Alex Ferguson had backed him this week.
And his prematch news conference to preview Saturday’s trip to Stoke lasted just four minutes and 58 seconds as he walked out in protest.
Van Gaal, 64, claimed he was owed apologies by journalists because, contrary to what he believes has been said, he has not yet been dismissed and replaced by former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
“Has anybody in this room not a feeling to apologise to me? Nobody has that feeling? That’s what I’m wondering,” he said. “I think I was already sacked, I read — I have been sacked.
“My colleague [Mourinho] was here already. What do you think happens with my wife or with my kids or with my grandchildren or with the fans of Manchester United or my friends? What do you think? They have called me a lot of times, and also Arsene Wenger is saying something about that.
“Do you think that I want to talk with the media now? I’m here only because of the Premier League rules. I have to talk with you. But I can only see when I say something that you use my words in your context.”
Van Gaal, who only answered three questions in the news conference, said he had the support of United’s powerbrokers at a time when there has been plenty of talk about his position.
“You have to stick by the facts and when I get calls from [former manager Sir] Alex Ferguson and [director] David Gill and [executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward because you are creating something that is not good, that is not the facts” he added. “Now I have to answer questions? I don’t think I want to do it.
“I wish you a Merry Christmas and maybe also a happy New Year when I see you. Enjoy the wine and a mince pie. Goodbye.”
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