Louis van Gaal has admitted he feels for the Manchester United fans who turned on him and his side during Saturday’s 0-1 loss to Southampton at Old Trafford.
Many in the crowd had already left the Theatre of Dreams long before the final whistle after an uninspiring United display which was compounded by Charlie Austin’s 87th-minute winner for the visitors.
Home supporters were also seen waving the United manager goodbye at the end of the match, while others chose to deliver a thumbs-down gesture as Van Gaal walked towards the Old Trafford tunnel.
In a post-match press conference Van Gaal said he could understand the supporters’ frustrations after such a lifeless display.
“Yes, it was very clear I think,” he admitted when asked if it was one of the worst performances of his United reign.
“I can imagine [the fans’ feelings] but I have also seen a poor match.
“You can analyse that as a manager and players, and you have to do that because it is difficult to create chances when you are so tactically busy with pressing each other and pressure on the ball. Neither us nor they kept the ball so much.”
But when pressed on what he can do to change the sentiments of the fans who turned on him and the United side in the latter stages of the game, he insisted that more work on the training ground is the only way forward.
“I cannot change that feeling. I can only work hard with my players to improve our game, and that’s what I am doing,” he added.
“Of course I’m disappointed, but I have to think already how can we change this.
“It is not an easy job at the moment, because although we have won three games and drawn one in 2016 before this one, but we could not show that confidence in this game.”
The defeat leaves United five points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur in the race for a Champions League spot.