Belfast Telegraph

LVG given two games to save his United job

By Mark Ogden

Louis van Gaal is facing the sack at Manchester United if the club lose to Stoke City or Chelsea during the Festive fixture period.

With United suffering a third successive defeat against Norwich City at Old Trafford on Saturday, Van Gaal is under mounting pressure with the club hierarchy aware of growing discontent within the playing squad and increasing frustrations among the supporters, a minority of whom chanted the name of Jose Mourinho during the 2-1 loss to Alex Neil's team.

Despite Van Gaal claiming that he retains the backing of his players, senior figures within the dressing-room are believed to have grown tired of the Dutchman's approach, in terms of tactics and a perceived obsession with critical post-match analysis in 'evaluation' sessions overseen by performance analyst, Max Reckers.

It is understood that a further defeat at either Stoke on Boxing Day or against Chelsea at Old Trafford next Monday will signal the end for the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach at the midway stage of his three-year contract as United manager.

Carlo Ancelotti's appointment as Bayern Munich manager following confirmation of Pep Guardiola's departure at the end of this season, has left United without their favoured replacement for Van Gaal.

But Mourinho's dismissal as Chelsea manager last week and Guardiola's availability have given United two proven options to pursue as long-term successors should Van Gaal be sacked.

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