The Dutchman, under pressure after seven games without a victory, was asked at his post-match news conference whether he feared he would be sacked. Van Gaal, 64, said that was something he would discuss with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and not the media.

“It is not always the club that has to fire or sack me,” he said.

“Sometimes I do that by myself, but I am the one who wants to speak first with the board of Manchester United and my members of staff and my players, not with you.”

United’s miserable run has seen them knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage and slip out of the top four in the Premier League. Van Gaal, who succeeded David Moyes in the summer of 2014, said the club had backed him “all the time” but added: “We have lost so there is a new situation.

“I feel the support of my players and my board. The fans will be disappointed but that is logical after four defeats.”

Van Gaal does not think it is important that Woodward has not publicly supported him.

“For me it’s much more important that people are saying that to me,” he said. “I am not so interested in public sayings.”

BBC Sports