Manchester United News: Louis Van Gaal Admits Loss of 'Fear Factor' Before Shrewsbury Town FA Cup Tie

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal is under increasing pressure at Old Trafford.
Louis Van Gaal, left, at Herning MCH Multi Arena, February 18, in Herning, Denmark. Van Gaal admits United has lost its 'fear factor.' Michael Regan/Getty Images

Ever-frank Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal admits the club has lost its "fear factor" as it prepares to take on Shrewsbury Town on Monday night in the FA Cup fifth round.

The tie away at the League One side at New Meadow provides the potential for embarrassment for United, coming the week after Van Gaal's team slipped to a Europa League defeat at FC Midtjylland of Denmark, perhaps the nadir of the Dutchman's time in charge.

That came in the wake of a 2-1 defeat to Sunderland in the English Premier League that left United cut adrift in the race for a lucrative UEFA Champions League place for next season, leaving Van Gaal wondering whether the club has lost its intimidatory nature.

Asked whether opposing teams are no longer scared of United, Van Gaal said: "When you see the last two games it is maybe like that. But then we have to make them fear again.

"It is a question of winning matches in a row."

Van Gaal's position is coming under increasing pressure, with Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward having shown patience through a series of increasingly wan performances this season.

But a report in the Manchester Evening News on Saturday suggested Van Gaal now has just three games to save his job, with the Shrewsbury tie followed by the return leg against Midtjylland at Old Trafford and a crucial Premier League clash against Arsenal that is do-or-die for United's hopes of making the Champions League.