Van Gaal insists his future is not important after FA Cup win

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Van Gaal secure a vital FA Cup quarter-final win at West Ham
Van Gaal secure a vital FA Cup quarter-final win at West Ham

Louis van Gaal insisted his future was not the key topic of debate after his Manchester United side breathed life back into their miserable season with a 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final replay win at West Ham.

Goals from Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini set up a semi-final date with Everton at Wembley next week and relieved the mounting pressure on Van Gaal.

After a few days of negative of headlines that suggested his players had turned against him following the 3-0 Premier League drubbing at Tottenham last weekend, United responded in the grand manner to turn in a stylish display against the in-form Hammers.

Yet Van Gaal was keen to deflect attention away from his own perilous position as United boss, as he insisted this win was significant for his club.

"It is not important for me, it is important for the club, for the players and for the team," he stated.

"I said I wanted a title at United and I am very happy, but it is very important for the club.

"We played defensively very well. We didn't give so much away. They lost the ball a lot of times and I believe with a bit more composure we could have finished it much earlier.

"I said at half-time we had to show composure in the third and fourth phase. We did that better but I still believe we could have finished the game earlier."

Van Gaal switched to a 4-3-3 formation for the replay and that system appeared to get the best out his front three of Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, yet the Dutchman played down the significance of his tactical input.

"I have to, in every match, take into account the height of my players because every set play you have seen is a danger and that's why I chose this line-up," he added.

"But, of course, also because of the qualities of the players and if they can cope with the midfield of West Ham United.

"I think we have pressed always very high again, but it is of course a risk because in the first half (Enner) Valencia playing was a surprise for me, he is very fast and when you press high you need to play more compact and more from your goal.

"But we did it so I was very satisfied at half-time because we controlled the game and had better chances, and there was the only the chance of Valencia I think."