Bierhoff hits out at Manchester United boss

Manchester United's German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger (R) passes the ball during the English Premier League football match between Swansea City and Manchester United at The Liberty Stadium in Swansea, south Wales on August 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Former German international Oliver Bierhoff has described Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal’s past criticism of countryman Bastian Schweinsteiger as “unfortunate”.

Bierhoff will be remembered for the first golden goal in the history of major international football, for Germany in the Euro 96 final

The Manchester United boss Van Gaal in December said the Schweinsteiger was not the player he remembered from his time as Bayern Munich manager. The embattled manager earlier this month also stated that he expected more from the 31-year old midfielder as his (Van Gaal) standards were high.

Schweinsteiger has made 27 appearances in all competitions for United this season, starting 15 of those since his move from Bayern in the summer, and Bierhoff believes the national team captain’s place in the Germany side for Euro 2016 is not under threat.

“Every player needs the backing of the coach, the same goes for Bastian. Generally, I find it unfortunate if a coach publicly criticises a player so hard.

“I think with the prospect of participating as a captain in a European Championship, motivation and concentration will come back [for Schweinsteiger].

“On Bastian’s position, competition is keen, which we already say from the World Cup. I assume that Bastian will be at the Euros. He is an important part of the team.”¬†Bierhoff is quoted as saying on Sky Sport.

A knee injury has kept Schweinsteiger out of action for Manchester United since early January, but Germany manager Joachim Low insists he is not concerned ahead of the tournament in France, and is in constant contact with him.