Louis van Gaal came out fighting after the FA Cup final as reports mount he will be replaced by Jose Mourinho as Manchester United manager in the coming days.
Van Gaal has had to contend with similar speculation for much of the season and he remained defiant as the media put questions to him after his side beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Wembley, following a number of reports only minutes after the final whistle suggesting the imminent appointment of former Chelsea boss Mourinho.
The Dutchman placed the trophy on the desk in front of him and highlighted his success before hitting out at the media for prematurely writing about his demise.
He said: “I show you the cup and I don’t discuss it (my future) with my friends of the media, who already sacked me for six months. Which manager can do what I have done?”
It was then put to Van Gaal that the club have not put a stop to such rumours.
The 64-year-old responded by asking his inquisitor, “You have followed the board?” before attempts were made by his press officer to change the subject to the game.
Asked if the victory could be the perfect send-off, Van Gaal replied: “I don’t want to talk about leaving the club.”
While captain Wayne Rooney came out in support of his manager, United have made no official comment on the matter, despite the building reports, with the information believed to have been leaked by the Mourinho camp.
When asked by a reporter for BT Sport if he had needed to win the cup, the Van Gaal said: “That’s not so important for me. I want to win things, titles. I have won everywhere I have worked so I don’t have to prove myself.
“When they want to use my knowledge, my management, I shall continue. We have proved today that we have a title, and that (the last title) was a long time ago.
“Also, in a period of Sir Alex Ferguson, he does not win every title.”
Asked if he will be seen next season, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss added: “I hope to see you.”
United came from behind to triumph after extra-time at Wembley. Jason Puncheon put Palace ahead with just 12 minutes remaining, but Juan Mata quickly replied and Jesse Lingard snatched victory with a stunning volley in extra-time after United had Chris Smalling sent off.
And Van Gaal was proud of the victory, which earned United a first trophy since the retirement of Ferguson three years ago.
“I said when I started we are in a process of transition. I have already said a lot of times, so I repeat myself, I have to refresh my selection, my squad. I have done it,” he said.
“In spite of the many injuries this season we were still in the race and now we have lifted the cup. That is a title. It was three years ago that United (last) had a title.
“I am very proud I am the first manager after the period of Sir Alex Ferguson (to do that). I have made a picture with him because that is history.”
The club’s Twitter account posted a picture of Van Gaal and Ferguson holding the cup together.
Van Gaal revealed he had not been able to sign the players he wanted last summer as he addressed a question on whether United might be stronger next season.
He said: “That is dependable because last season I have asked for players. You don’t think the players that I have asked have come. It is not easy when United go for a player. When United come the price is double, much more than double.”