Sir Alex Ferguson defends Louis van Gaal: Manchester United fans need 'patience'

Former United boss says Dutchman has had to deal with an injury crisis

Louis van Gaal and Sir Alex Ferguson in 2009
Louis van Gaal and Sir Alex Ferguson in 2009

Sir Alex Ferguson has moved to defend current Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, stating that the Dutchman has had to deal with an injury crisis that has derailed the season.

The Scot, who won 13 Premier League titles at Old Trafford as well as the Champions League twice, has been a regular visitor to his former club this season, who have endured a campaign of fits and starts.

United are currently sixth in the table, a point off the fourth Champions League spot currently held by rivals Manchester City.

Van Gaal has heard boos and jeers throughout this season, especially with the club playing a boring, possession based style of football that has seen many supporters lose patients with his methods.

The Dutch coach is under huge pressure and appears in danger of being sacked at the end of the season, despite having another year left on his contract, as former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho continues to be linked with the job.

Ferguson, in an interview to be aired on Sky Sports, has said that injuries have prevented United from competing, and that fans should be more "patient" with the club's current plight.

"It is dead easy to be critical," Ferguson he said.

"You have to be realistic about some things – the number of injuries he has had: Phil Jones has played only seven games this season, Ashley Young, [Antonio] Valencia, [Luke] Shaw, these are big losses.

"It doesn’t matter which team you are, if you have players missing of that calibre it has to have an impact on the team.

"The other aspect which is always easy to forget there are also five new players in their first season at United, and two are young players in [Anthony] Martial and Memphis [Depay] and their promise is good.

"You have to have some patience being a Manchester United fan and they have shown that over the years; in Matt Busby’s time, in my time.

"For 150 years of history, it is worth having a couple of years on the quiet side of success because they will always come back and come back strong."

Ferguson won the Premier League title in his final season in charge of the club in 2012/13. Since then, first under David Moyes and now Van Gaal, United have finished in seventh and then fourth in the Premier League.

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