Louis van Gaal says everyone at Manchester United knows their efforts are not good enough following their surprise 2-1 home defeat to Norwich City.
Goals from Cameron Jerome and Alex Tettey consigned United to their third successive defeat in all competitions and saw them drop out of the Premier League’s top four.
Pressure has been building on Van Gaal in recent weeks and speculation that axed Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will replace him at Old Trafford is now set to intensify.
But Van Gaal pointed to the United supporters, who largely gave their side plenty of vocal backing amidst pockets of boos, as proof that only by “sticking together” will they recover their form.
“I have to say every word I say is one too many,” he told Sky Sports. “We know we have to win against Norwich City. We’ve won all our games, or at least drawn all our games, at home. So this is special for us, this season.
“We know it is not good enough for us. The players know that, the board, the fans, and I know that. But still, after the second goal, the fans were supporting us and they give a good example that we have to stick together to come out of this period because that’s our objective now.”
Van Gaal was again questioned over his reliance on his self-proclaimed “philosophy” and whether he must abandon his more reserved tactical approach, but the ex-Netherlands boss feels the confidence of his players is the greater problem.
“That’s always happening, these questions, when things are going down,” he said. “But also, in the past, you have to believe in that philosophy, and that’s why all my teams have won more matches than they lose.
“You’re evaluating yourself every day, the players have to do that also. It’s an aspect of your professional attitude, I’ll do that and my players will do that.
“We shall come back. I’m also convinced about that. We have to work very hard but it’s not easy – you can see what confidence is doing to my players.”