Belfast Telegraph

Be patient with Van Gaal, urges Alex Ferguson

By Tom Sheen

Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, stating the Dutchman has had an injury crisis that has derailed the season.

The Scot, who won 13 Premier League titles at Old Trafford as well as the Champions League twice, has been a regular visitor to his former club, who have endured a difficult campaign.

United are currently sixth in the table, a point off the fourth Champions League spot currently held by rivals Manchester City.

Van Gaal is under huge pressure and appears to be in danger of being sacked at the end of the season as ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is linked with the job.

Ferguson has said that injuries have prevented United from competing and that fans should be more "patient".

"It is easy to be critical," Ferguson said. "You have to be realistic, like the number of injuries - Phil Jones has played only seven games this season, Ashley Young, (Antonio) Valencia, (Luke) Shaw, these are big losses.

"It doesn't matter which team you are, if you have players missing of that calibre it has to have an impact. You have to have some patience being a Manchester United fan and they have shown that over the years; in Matt Busby's time, in my time."

Meanwhile, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is confident Dele Alli can handle the hype after Ferguson said he was the most talented midfielder since Paul Gascoigne.

He said: "It's very good praise from one of the best managers in football history. I can only agree with him. Am I worried about the hype?

"No, you can see the whole season how he has managed the pressure. He is very calm, very mature."

Belfast Telegraph


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