Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has confirmed that showdown talks took place with club captains Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick.
Reports emerged this week suggesting several prominent first-team figures had complained to Van Gaal over his rigid training routines, following United’s draw with Newcastle and defeat to Swansea.
While the former Netherlands boss has admitted the England internationals approached him over concerns about the atmosphere in the dressing room, he insists he has the support of the players and has hailed the constructive talks which followed.
“Rooney and Carrick, the captains, came to me to say: ‘The dressing room is flat. We say that because we want to help you’,” he revealed.
“I go to the dressing room, I communicate with my players. And then we have discussed a lot of aspects I cannot tell here, but these are aspects that you, or some, have not written.
“I think I have a superb relationship with my players. You have to consider how many players are coming to the manager to say something.
“In my career as a manager, I didn’t have so many players who are coming to say something about the atmosphere in the dressing room, the way we play, or something like that.
“It’s very positive the players are coming to you – you know they trust you. Then you see in the press things we have not talked about. It’s the same this year as last year.
“Last year, we sold and released 11 players, this year 14 players. The whole dressing room has been changed. Can you imagine when your friend – because some have friends in the dressing room – must leave? What are your feelings then?
“The players are happy with me. Some players are coming to me to apologise for some of the things written in the paper this week.
“Rooney is the best captain. I had Danny Blind and he was always my best captain. When I say Rooney is my best captain, Danny Blind shall read that and be disappointed.
“I say things always like I feel, but also how it is. I can only say I have a very good relationship with my players.”
Van Gaal also hit back at suggestions the Old Trafford faithful are beginning to lose patience with the United boss following huge investment in the squad and inconsistent results.
“The fans are shouting every week ‘Louis van Gaal’s army!’ so the fans are satisfied with Louis van Gaal,” he added.