Louis van Gaal needs the FA Cup and Champions League football to secure Man Utd future

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Louis van Gaal faces a crucial fixture in his Manchester United career tonight as his side travel to east London to face West Ham in their FA Cup quarter-final replay.

The Hammers have enjoyed a fantastic season and will be favourites ahead of the clash as both sides eye up their only remaining chance of silverware before the season's end.

When asked if he would prefer FA Cup glory or the fourth Champions League spot, West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said: "For me, it is not a hard decision, I take the FA Cup every time. I can’t imagine any manager saying the opposite.


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"The FA Cup is a historic trophy. If you finish fourth in the league, you are still not sure of the Champions League, it just means you have qualifying games in July."

However, where his Dutch counterpart is concerned, Van Gaal arguably doesn't have a choice in the matter and must secure both the FA Cup and Champions League football if he's to remain in the United hot seat.

The pressure is fast mounting on the 64-year-old to deliver at Old Trafford amidst the threat of United failing to claim silverware for a third consecutive season.

Add to that the fact that fourth in the Premier League is by no means guaranteed and the Dutchman will be aware a miracle is now needed to save his job.

And the task at hand will have been made no easier following Andy Carroll's return to form and hat-trick against Arsenal on Saturday.

Asked if he sees the Englishman as a threat, Van Gaal said: "Carroll has special qualities. We have seen that in the match he played on Saturday.

"It was also against Arsenal and they have great central defenders but he could still do that."

The Dutchman also highlighted the threat that various other West Ham players pose.

"So we have to cope with Andy Carroll and not only Andy Carroll, the other players," he continued.

"They have a certain player called Dimitri Payet for example, he can also play, and (Manuel) Lanzini can also score goals.

The FA Cup aside, United stand to lose out financially should they fail to qualify for the Champions League. According to the Independent, their £75 million-per-year kit deal with Adidas could be cut by 30% to £52.5 million-per-year until they qualify again.

And if there's one way to make an owner's trigger finger itch, it's a depleted wallet, which could prove disastrous to the club's hopes of re-establishing themselves in English football.

What's currently being regarded as a failed spell for Van Gaal at the Theatre of Dreams could soon turn into a catastrophic one.

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