Football

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is without a win in six games.

Raimond van der Gouw backs Jose Mourinho to restore United's confidence

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Raimond van der Gouw believes Jose Mourinho would restore the confidence of the Manchester United players if he replaced Louis van Gaal as manager.

Mourinho has been linked to the top job at Old Trafford after Van Gaal's United dropped out of the top four and exited the Champions League.

Mourinho is understood to be interested in taking over at United if Van Gaal is sacked and Van der Gouw thinks appointing the former Chelsea manager could be a wise move.

"I saw the last game (a 2-1 home defeat to Norwich), and the players are out of confidence," the former United goalkeeper told BBC Radio 5 Live.

When asked whether Mourinho would bring the confidence back to the team, Van der Gouw said: "I think so. The manager is always responsible, but the players will have to look at themselves. It's not the manager who is kicking the ball, t hey can do much better."

Van der Gouw suggested that Van Gaal's assistant Ryan Giggs, who was interim manager after United sacked David Moyes, lacked the experience to take the job on a permanent basis.

"It is a possibility, he did it last season for a few games," said the Dutchman, who won four major trophies during a six-year spell on the playing staff at United.

"He does have a lot of experience as a player, he has a little experience as an assistant manager, but to do the Manchester United job is a massive job."

Although many critics have been quick to point the finger at Van Gaal, his compatriot Van der Gouw believes United have become a victim of the narrowing gap between the biggest and smallest clubs in the Premier League.

He said: "Manchester United are not playing the way we expected, but you need to look at the whole season.

"Most top clubs are not the same anymore, smaller clubs are making the gap much smaller.

"It's not the same as a couple of years ago, it's not just a couple of clubs, (leaders) Leicester are doing really well."

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