MANCHESTER, United Kingdom (AFP) – Louis van Gaal admitted the furious reaction of Manchester United supporters to their side s dismal 1-0 defeat against Southampton was the worst he has experienced in an increasingly turbulent season.
Van Gaal s side failed to score at Old Trafford for the seventh time this term and were eventually beaten by a late headed goal from Southampton debutant Charlie Austin.
United are now five points adrift of a top-four place in the Premier League and their dejected players trudged off with boos ringing in their ears at full-time.
Inevitably, beleaguered boss van Gaal was also subjected to renewed derision from disgruntled fans who have given the Dutchman plenty of abuse for his conservative tactics over the last few months.
The pressure on van Gaal will only increase with United having won just three of their last 13 games and he accepted the criticism from supporters was more vitriolic than ever.
“Yes, because it was very clear,” he said. “I can imagine (why) also because I have seen a poor match.
“I cannot change that feeling. I can only work hard with my players to improve our game and that is what I am doing.
“Of course I am disappointed but I have to think and already I put the question how I can change this because we have to change this.
“That is my job and it s not an easy job at the moment. Nevertheless, we have won three times in 2016 and had a draw, so they were very good results in January.
“But we could not show it in this game. I did not see that confidence today.”