Louis van Gaal has launched a remarkable defence of his Manchester United reign after wonder-kid Marcus Rashford fired them into the FA Cup semi-final on Wednesday night.
Rashford stunned Upton Park with a breathtaking effort before Marouane Fellaini notched a crucial second to book a Wembley date against Everton.
But they were indebted to goalkeeper David de Gea for a string of super saves to prevent a West Ham equaliser after James Tomkins set-up a grandstand finale.
United and Van Gaal were heavily criticised following Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Tottenham – the manager’s future called into question once again.
But the Dutchman insisted Wednesday night’s result proves his players are ‘fighting’ for him despite growing speculation over his future.
“I want to win a title here. I’ve won everywhere I’ve worked and I want to win a title here,’ said Van Gaal.
“I’m not important; but the club, the fans and players are. When you play a game here at Upton Park and play like we have after a defeat, it shows my team has fighting spirit.
“I do my work and do my utmost best everywhere I worked, and everywhere I went, I won something.
“That’s why I’m here at Manchester United. I’m here because I won titles, not because I’m a lousy trainer.”
Van Gaal, who handed Wayne Rooney his return from injury on Wednesday night, was also glowing in his praise for Rashford, who notched his sixth goal in just 11 senior appearances against the Hammers.
“He shows no nerves, he is focused on his work and I admire that,’ said the United boss. ‘When you are so young and there’s so much attention and when you can cope with that focus, attention and on the next match, it is fantastic.
“When he is criticised he can cope with that, he says: “Yes manager you are right.” “It’s fantastic because there is not a lot of players who can see their self image in a match.”