Glazers, Woodward reassure van Gaal about his job security

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal during his side's 2-1 victory against Swansea City in the Premier League match at Old Trafford on Saturday. It was their first victory in nine games.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal during his side's 2-1 victory against Swansea City in the Premier League match at Old Trafford on Saturday. It was their first victory in nine games. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

LONDON • Louis van Gaal has been assured that Manchester United have no plans to change managers and that the club intend sticking to a long-term strategy of retaining him until Ryan Giggs is ready to take over.

Van Gaal was given the commitment by Ed Woodward and the Glazer family prior to a week in which he has engineered an upturn in his team's fortunes, culminating in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Swansea, United's first in nine games.

Despite the availability of former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, it appears Woodward, the club's executive vice-chairman, and the Glazers, its owners, are determined to stick with the van Gaal and Giggs ticket.

It is believed they would only change course if there was a further slide in results.

Despite a sequence including successive defeats against Bournemouth, Norwich and Stoke, van Gaal was told by his bosses that they value his management.

Woodward and the Glazers believe he is laying strong structures that can be followed after he departs.

Van Gaal's demand that all departments work at United transparently and within the clear lines he has laid out is said to have particular appeal to the club hierarchy.

Their faith in him is one reason United have allowed Manchester City to do all the running in wooing Pep Guardiola, who is ready to come to the Premier League after ending the season with Bayern Munich.

Victory came for United on Saturday courtesy of goals by Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney.

The United captain's third league goal of the season took him past Denis Law to 238 goals - behind only Bobby Charlton's club record of of 249.

The England captain also moved ahead of former United striker Andy Cole in the Premier League stakes on 188 goals, and is now second behind Alan Shearer (260).

And van Gaal, who had overseen United's longest sequences of matches without victory since 1990, hopes a first home victory since Nov 7 will trigger an improved run for both Rooney and his side.

"It's amazing and to do that at the age of 30 years," said van Gaal of Rooney, whose goal was his first at Old Trafford since September.

"I think as an achievement (beating Law) is fantastic but it's more important he scores now. I hope it's a starting point for him and the team."

Van Gaal deployed a back three and told his players to attack a narrow Swansea side on the flanks, and it paid off with the home victory.

"We played a risky shape," added the Dutchman.

"We scored two beautiful goals. It is amazing we can perform the game plan in a risky style under this pressure.

"This win will raise the players' confidence and lower the pressure on them."

THE TIMES, LONDON, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2016, with the headline 'Glazers, Woodward reassure van Gaal about his job security'. Print Edition | Subscribe