Louis van Gaal had admitted that his side have lost their fear factor as the Dutch boss edges closer to the sack at Old Trafford.
It’s been a nightmare week for the 64-year-old after losses to relegation-threatened Sunderland in the Premier League last weekend before being embarrassed by Danish minnows FC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday.
Van Gaal’s United career could hit a new low on Monday night when they take on Shrewsbury in the FA Cup, with a defeat surely spelling the end of his reign.
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It’s a far-cry from the glory days that the Red Devils are used to under Sir Alex Ferguson where they won 13 league titles during his 26 years at the club.
When asked, Van Gaal admitted the key to success is making the opposition fear United again.
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“When you see the last two games it is maybe like that. But then we have to make them fear again,” he told reporters.
“We lost the first match in the Premier League also, Swansea, when I came. But then we still had a very good home record last season.
“We can do that again. It is a question of winning matches in a row.”
Many people believe that League One Shrewsbury are capable of causing an incredible upset against a United side bereft of confidence.
The team have failed to win 18 of their previous 27 matches and have an injury crisis with Wayne Rooney and David de Gea among the 14 first-team players currently sidelined.
The beleaguered boss admits that the Shrews pose a serious threat to his side and called on his players to improve from their defeat in the Europa League.
“We know Shrewsbury will fight for the second balls and play direct — just like Midtjylland — and you must cope.
“But you have to keep the ball better and not give unnecessary losses away.”
FA Cup success
A home tie against West Ham awaits in the quarter-finals and Van Gaal is aware that winning the competition could go a long way in salvaging their season - and possibly his job.
“On Monday we have to win and when we win we are in the next round and are capable of winning the FA Cup.”
At the weekend, there were even more rumours that Jose Mourinho was set to take over from Louis van Gaal imminently.
Inter’s director and close friend to the Portuguese boss Bedy Moratti told journalists that Mourinho is happy because “he’s off to Manchester.”
It’s seems that Mourinho is on the verge of being appointed as United’s next boss and a defeat against Shrewsbury will surely be the final straw for the chiefs at Old Trafford to make their announcement.