Louis van Gaal bullishly predicted he will manage Manchester United next season after the Old Trafford faithful showed their displeasure with him in the aftermath of Tuesday’s 3-1 win over AFC Bournemouth.
Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford and substitute Ashley Young were all on target as Van Gaal’s men coasted to victory in the re-arranged fixture – Sunday’s game having been abandoned when a suspicious device was found at the stadium.
But, with Saturday’s FA Cup final against Crystal Palace on the horizon, United were playing merely for pride after Manchester City’s 1-1 draw at Swansea City on the scheduled final day ended their hopes of a top-four finish and Champions League football.
After the match, Van Gaal was greeted on to the pitch for his post-season address by a hail of boos, although sections of his speech praising the supporters and urging a cup-final victory did draw applause.
Another round of speculation linking Jose Mourinho with the United post preceded the Bournemouth match but Van Gaal remains confident he will see out the remaining year of his contract.
“Yes [I will be here next season], because I have signed a three-year contract,” he said at a post-match news conference.
Van Gaal told Sky Sports after the game that fans’ expectations were too high at Old Trafford but appeared to contradict himself in the media briefing when he said United could win the league next season.
“That is always possible because Leicester City was more or less a relegation team. We were fourth and fifth, so normally we are closer,” he said.
“But in sport nothing is normal. You have to show it, you have to fight for it.”
First on the agenda are Palace at Wembley, where United will attempt to win a 12th FA Cup and first since 2004.
“We have to play the cup final and that is a very important game, very important for the club also,” Van Gaal added.
“It is a very long time ago that they won this cup so it is important for the fans, for the club, for my staff and also for myself.
“I came here to win a title and the FA Cup is a big title in England.”