Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted that his side’s chances of finishing in the Premier League’s top four will all but be offer should they lose to Manchester City tomorrow.
The Red Devils travel to the Etihad Stadium for the Manchester derby in a game that both sides will be desperate to win.
Van Gaal watched his side be eliminated from the Europa League at the hands of Liverpool in midweek, with a section of the United support losing faith in the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona trainer.
With City also needing points to assure a place in the top four and surely motivated to defeat their rivals on Sunday, Van Gaal has stated that a defeat could well be the decisive blow to his team’s chances of Champions League football.
“I think so. We are now four points behind so you have to win otherwise the gap is bigger and bigger and the [number of] matches that you have to play are not so big,” The Guardian quote him as saying.
“If we lose, the gap is seven points and we have to play eight matches – then it’s very difficult to recover from that.
“It is still possible but it’s difficult then because West Ham United are also in front [by two points]. So it is not only City but West Ham United.”
United are widely expected to replace Van Gaal this summer despite the fact that he has a year left on his current contract.