Louis van Gaal suggests he may quit as Man United lose to Stoke City

Louis van Gaal suggested he could resign after Manchester United lost 2-0 at Stoke City, marking a fourth consecutive defeat in all competitions.

United, who started captain Wayne Rooney on the bench at the Britannia Stadium, fell behind to a Bojan Krkic goal after a poor defensive header from Memphis Depay, and Marko Arnautovic added a second soon afterward with a fierce strike following a free kick.

United had a chance to reduce the deficit when Rooney, who replaced Depay at the break, set up Marouane Fellaini, but his shot was tame and Stoke finished the game in relative comfort.

Van Gaal, who hit out at the media in midweek over reports he would be sacked, told reporters after the match that he could consider walking away once he has spoken with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

Asked whether he had received assurances from the club hierarchy, Van Gaal told reporters: "I can also quit by myself.

"That is something I speak to Ed Woodward [about] by himself -- not with you.

"It is not always [that] the club has to fire or sack me. Sometimes I do it by myself. I am the one who wants to speak first with the board of Manchester United and with my members of staff and players -- and not with you."

Van Gaal rejected the idea that it would be better if Woodward backed him with a public statement.

"No," he said. "Because for me it's much more important that people are saying that to me. I am not so interested in public sayings."

Asked whether he was the man to motivate the United players, he said: "That is now the big issue.

"I have tried to do everything, but the pressure shall be higher and higher with every match. That is the problem now.

"It is more difficult because I am also part of the four matches we have lost, so people are looking at me, and I have to deal with that, but more importantly the players have to deal with that because they are the ones who have to perform."

Analysing his team's performance, he told Sky Sports: "My thoughts are that we didn't dare to play football in the first half and then we gave a very bad goal away. That was too much.

"They scored from a free kick and then it was half-time. We have spoken with each other and I have to say the second half was much better. We created one or two chances and you have to score. Then the belief is coming back, and we played better in the second half, but the problem is we didn't dare to play. That is my analysis."

He also explained his comments at the news conference, when he requested an apology from journalists and then walked out early.

"My message was that the media are saying and writing things that are not happening inside Manchester United," he said. "That was my message and not that I am hurt, because I am used to that."

Van Gaal was also asked to explain his decision to leave Rooney out of the starting XI.

"I am always very faithful [to the players], and I see also how they have trained," he said. "They wanted to perform well, but the circumstances are also difficult.

"It is not only the circumstances with the wind but also with the pressure. That is in my opinion the reason why they didn't dare to play football. In the second half we were in a losing position and then you can give everything more easily. That is what we have done."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.