Van Gaal Admits Man Utd Might Have To Settle For Europa League
Louis van Gaal moved a step closer to the exit at Old Trafford on Saturday after another dismal display, with the team losing 2-1 at relegation-threatened Sunderland, with the manager and captain Wayne Rooney admitting their chances of making the Champions League are rapidly receding.
Agents negotiating deals for players to come into Manchester United this summer are being told by United executives that Jose Mourinho will be manager next season if United fail to finish in the top four.
And with that prospect now looking ever-more unlikely, with United six points adrift having played a game more than the top four teams, Van Gaal looks to be in his last months in the job.
Sunderland’s new signings Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone both scored as Sam Allardyce’s team deservedly beat an abject United 2-1 and van Gaal admitted: ‘We needed the points so much and everyone knew that.
“In the circumstances that Man United are, that is very disappointing. These are the kind of matches you have to win. I said that in advance and we didn’t do that,” Van Gaal said.
“The top four will be very difficult now. It is still possible, but it is very difficult. The Europa League is easier (to qualify for the Champions League) but also not so easy, because there you have a fantastic European level in that Cup, so you have to fight for it. You have to show your capacity in every match and we didn’t do that today.”
Van Gaal conceded that qualification for the Champions League is the minimum requirement for United and said: ‘That was also our plan and you cannot close your eyes to that.’
Rooney also admitted that the Champions League is looking an increasingly distant prospect for 2016-17 and said: “It’s a sad day for us. You don’t know how it will work out but we know now will be difficult to get into top four and it might be Europa League is the way to get into Champions League but that’s a long way away.”
“We didn’t play well we weren’t aggressive and didn’t win enough second balls and didn’t create enough chances. If you put all that together it’s not good enough.”