Louis van Gaal admits he is “worried” about his future at Manchester United following their third defeat in succession on Saturday.
Goals from Cameron Jerome and Alex Tettey gave Norwich City a shock 2-1 Premier League win at Old Trafford and extended United’s run to six games without a victory in all competitions.
Pre-match rumours linking axed Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho with Van Gaal’s job are set to intensify after the defeat, and the Dutchman conceded he cannot ignore the speculation any longer.
“Of course I am worried about that because belief in a manager is very important. And when you lose as a manager that confidence decreases. That is happening now, and I cannot close my eyes to that,” he said.
“I can only say that what you have seen today is what a lack of confidence can do. It was not good enough. It is our first defeat at Old Trafford, that makes it remarkable.
“[You get confidence back] by showing a professional attitude. That’s the only way. But we also have to evaluate what we have done today. We will do that tomorrow as a staff, as a team, to do better against Stoke City, then we have two days before Chelsea. We have to show our professional attitude to improve and to come back to our confidence zone.”
Van Gaal even suggested he may have lost some of his coaching prowess, given United’s recent malaise.
“I am always evaluating myself also because I think that’s the philosophy that I have. But in 25 years of management I evaluate myself, the philosophy is also about making an evolution. I am not the same coach as 25 years ago. You are always evaluating. That philosophy is very important for me. Because of that I am, or maybe I should say was, a very successful manager.”
Assistant manager Ryan Giggs was vocal in his support for the players on the touchline in the closing stages, but Van Gaal – who stayed in his seat throughout – says they have an agreement over their actions on the touchlines.
“He was also, in the last game, a lot of times on the touchline,” he added. “He has given advice to the players, he can do that because we speak about that. You are at the sideline mostly when it is not going well and that’s the reason.”