Under-fire Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal walked out of his news conference on Wednesday after objecting to questions over his future at the club.
Van Gaal’s position at United is the source of mounting speculation following a run of six matches without a win in all competitions that leaves them fifth in the Premier League table and out of the Champions League.
Addressing the assembled media ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Stoke City, Van Gaal stated that he had the support of United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and former Old Trafford boss Alex Ferguson but angrily cut his address short.
“Has anyone in this room not got the feeling to apologise to me?” he said. “Nobody has that feeling? That’s what I am wondering.
“I think I was already sacked, I have read, I have been sacked. My colleague [ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho] was here already. What do you think that happens with my wife? Or with my kids? Or with my grandchildren? Or with fans of Manchester United? Or my friends?
“They have called me, a lot of times and also Arsene Wenger is saying something about it. Do you think I want to talk with media now?
“I am 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 went on to insist that he retains the confidence of his players and staff at United.
“I want to say only I have tried to lift confidence of my players,” he said. “I have done everything this week I hold meetings, evaluations, with players and members of staff.
“I hold Christmas lunch, I hold speeches and I feel the warmth and support of everyone in Carrington, in this training complex.
“I didn’t feel that in the media and of course I can imagine that you can write about that subject us not being in a good position but four weeks ago we were top [of the Premier League].
“In four weeks we can again be back in that position. You have to stick by facts and when I get calls off Sir Alex Ferguson and [former United chief executive] David Gill and Ed Woodward because you [the media] are creating something, what is not good, what is not being the facts, now I have to answer questions.”
Van Gaal concluded with a farewell to those in attendance, hardly brimming with festive cheer.
He added: “I don’t think that I want to do it. I only say now, I am focused on Stoke City, helping my players, I wish you a Merry Christmas and maybe also a happy new year when I see you.
“Enjoy the wine and a minced pie.”