Relieved Louis van Gaal looks to drink 'expensive' wine after Man United reach FA Cup last 16
Derby (UK): Under-fire Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal looked forward to drinking “expensive” wine gifted to him by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward after his side reached the FA Cup last 16. Van Gaal conceded that his job was on the line prior to Friday’s fourth-round tie at Derby County, but goals from Wayne Rooney, Daley Blind and Juan Mata gave the visitors a 3-1 win.
Daley Blind celebrates Manchester United’s second goal against Derby County in the FA Cup on Friday. Pic/Getty Images
United have won only four of their last 14 games, and were booed off after last weekend’s 1-0 home defeat by Southampton, but Van Gaal said that Woodward and the club’s other decision-makers had not lost faith in him.
Invited to divulge how we would celebrate progressing in the FA Cup, he replied: “I come back and my wife is at home, because she was in the Netherlands.
“The wine is already open and we drink a nice bottle of wine, probably the most expensive wine. I have received that from Ed Woodward, because I get always expensive wine when we beat an opponent out of the top six,” he explained, in reference to United’s recent 1-0 win at arch rivals Liverpool.
Asked if Woodward’s gift had been a gesture of solidarity, the Dutchman, who is 18 months into a three-year contract, retorted: “That is a stupid question. It is not a question of one match. It’s difficult to understand, but it is a process and it is a period of three years. This board is very intelligent to understand that. It is not a question of one match.”
Van Gaal was in belligerent mood in his post-match press conference at the iPro Stadium and took issue with a question about whether his team had played with more freedom than usual against Derby. “I cannot answer this question.”