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Manchester United's Louis Van Gaal misery goes on

Eight games without win and he still won't quit

By Mark Ogden

Published 29/12/2015

Missed opportunity: Ander Herrera sums up the mood for Manchester United during the Red Devils' 0-0 draw with Chelsea
Missed opportunity: Ander Herrera sums up the mood for Manchester United during the Red Devils' 0-0 draw with Chelsea
Defiant: Louis van Gaal has vowed to fight on

Louis van Gaal insisted he would fight on as Manchester United manager and not consider resigning after seeing his team extend their winless run to eight games with a 0-0 draw against Chelsea at Old Trafford.

Van Gaal, under mounting pressure after United suffered a fourth successive defeat in all competitions at Stoke on Boxing Day, has been urged to battle through the team's current difficulties by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

And with United dominating against the struggling champions, Van Gaal issued a defiant riposte to supporters and media who have called for him to be sacked.

"I cannot have any influence on that," Van Gaal said. "I can only work with my players and you have seen that my players are fighting for me and that they have given a good performance.

"When the players can give such a performance under this pressure, then it is not any reason to resign for me.

"Maybe the media wants that but I shall not do that. It's not a question of staying, it is a question of fulfilling my contract.

"Even after this result, the fans were applauding, so I cannot say that I am very much concerned, but in this football world, you never know."

"But I have full confidence in the board and in my players."

United face Swansea at Old Trafford on Saturday aiming to win for the first time since mid-November, but Van Gaal claimed that his team were denied victory following two rejected penalty appeals by referee Martin Atkinson.

"We hit the post twice when the keeper was beaten, then had a big chance in the second half and two penalty cases - one handball, one foul on Mata - but didn't receive a penalty," Van Gaal said.

Ander Herrera of Manchester United battles for the ball with Nemanja Matic of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on December 28, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Ander Herrera of Manchester United battles for the ball with Nemanja Matic of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on December 28, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney (L) attacks a cross defended by Chelsea's French defender Kurt Zouma (2L) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's English defender Chris Smalling (L) is shown a yellow card by referee Martin Atkinson (R) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Morgan Schneiderlin of Manchester United fouls Willian of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on December 28, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Willian (R) plays the ball in front of Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera (L) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's French defender Kurt Zouma holds his leg after being caught by Manchester United's English defender Chris Smalling with no foul given during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Bastian Schweinsteiger of Manchester United passes the ball under pressure form Oscar of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on December 28, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Louis van Gaal, manager of Manchester United looks on before the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on December 28, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney warms up before the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
A Manchester United fan poses with a scarf outside the stadium before the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on December 28, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: A fan poses with a Manchester United scarf displaying the image and name of former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, outside the stadium before the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on December 28, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Fans arrive at the stadium before the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on December 28, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
A fan sits on a bench next to a poster showing Manchester United legend Eric Cantona outside Old Trafford stadium before the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Fans check their mobile phones in front of a poster showing Manchester United legend Bobby Charlton lifter the European Cup (C) outside Old Trafford stadium before the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Fans pose for photographs in front of Old Trafford stadium before the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
A scarf seller sells Jose Mourinho Manchester United scarves before the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday December 28, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Manchester United fans outside Old Trafford before the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday December 28, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
A scarf seller sells Jose Mourinho Manchester United scarves before the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday December 28, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
A scarf seller sells Jose Mourinho Manchester United scarves before the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday December 28, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
File photo dated 24-11-2015 of Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal (right) talks with Wayne Rooney during the training session at Aon Training Complex, Carrington. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday December 27, 2015. Under-fire Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal must decide whether to restore captain Wayne Rooney to his side for Monday's match against Chelsea. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd Team. Photo credit should read Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

"We were the dominant team, we created chances, we shot on goal and only gave three chances away. Against a team like Chelsea, with such attackers, that's not bad."

United skipper Wayne Rooney admitted the players owed it to themselves to produce an improved performance.

"We'd be letting ourselves down if we didn't go on to that pitch and let ourselves play football and give our all," the England striker said.

"You've seen the fans today -they follow us everywhere. We wouldn't be professional players if we didn't do that. We have to fight to the end.

"We're in a tough time, everyone knows that. We'll keep fighting and we'll come back again, we know that. But at the minute it's tough. We have to just keep working hard and I'm sure the victories will come."

Guus Hiddink, Chelsea's interim manager, insisted his team are locked in a relegation battle after the draw left them three points above the bottom three.

"Of course I am worried," Hiddink said. "But I would have been more worried if there was a lack of confidence or a lack of ambition."

Chelsea were missing Diego Costa to suspension and a number of injured players, so Hiddink was happy to emerge with a share of the spoils.

"I'm happy with a point because they were difficult circumstances for us, we had a lack of striking people - they are all injured," he said. "I can be happy with the performance of the team. We would have liked to score. In general, due to the circumstances, I'm happy with the performance."

Belfast Telegraph

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