Manchester United News: Louis Van Gaal 'Not to Blame' for Results says Lingard

Jesse Lingard after scoring at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Jesse Lingard, right, at Old Trafford, February 2. Lingard believes United's malaise is not down to manager Louis Van Gaal. Clive Mason/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal is not to blame for the club's current troubles, according to winger Jesse Lingard.

United is five points off Arsenal, which occupies the final UEFA Champions League place in the English Premier League, but looked to be rounding back into form when it beat Stoke City 3-0 at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

And Lingard insists that the mediocre form his team has displayed for much of the season is not the responsibility of Van Gaal.

"It's not the manager's fault—we've been on the pitch," said Lingard, who scored United's first goal on Tuesday.

"[The victory] is a weight off our shoulders and we can just play football now," he continued.

"We are playing with freedom and we've got a lot of energy in the team."

Van Gaal has come under increasing pressure since Christmas, and last week vehemently denied reports in the British press claiming he had offered his resignation following a 1-0 defeat to Southampton on January 23.

But he retains the support of Ed Woodward, United's executive vice chairman, who wants the Dutchman to see out a three-year deal that runs until the end of the 2016-17 season.