London - Manchester United midfielder
Marouane Fellaini insists under-fire boss Louis van Gaal will silence his
growing band of critics by winning the Premier League title this season.
Van Gaal had endured a barrage of abuse
from unhappy fans during last Saturday's 0-0 draw against West Ham, but that
was nothing compared to the insults thrown at him after United suffered an
embarrassing Champions League exit on Tuesday.
With a host of former United stars
including Paul Scholes and Roy Keane queuing up to question van Gaal following
that 3-2 defeat at Wolfsburg, the pressure is mounting as the Dutchman takes
his spluttering side to Bournemouth on Saturday.
United are without a win in their last four
matches in all competitions and reports claim van Gaal has lost the support of
sections of his squad, with some players said to have been amazed by his
decision to replace Juan Mata with the inexperienced Nick Powell against
But Fellaini is adamant van Gaal retains
the full backing of the dressing room and, with fourth placed United only three
points behind leaders Leicester, the Belgium international expects a strong
push to win the title.
"We trust him," Fellaini told NBC
Sports. "He is the manager, it is his philosophy and we have to continue
"I am sure the goals will come and the
chances as well. Yes, of course (we can win the title). At the moment we are in
the top four, we are there.
"It is a tough month but we have to
continue like this. We know at Manchester United the expectations are
United could be facing fourth bottom
Bournemouth at the worst possible time as Eddie Howe's team will be buoyant after
their surprise win at Chelsea last weekend.
That loss threatened to bring the curtain
down on Jose Mourinho's second spell at Chelsea after a traumatic season at the
But Mourinho's players, regularly reported
to be disenchanted with their manager this term, responded to claims that the
Portuguese coach was on the verge of the sack by beating Porto 2-0 on Wednesday
to book their place in the Champions League last 16.
That victory appears to have bought
Mourinho breathing space as he tries to lift Chelsea, currently only two points
above the relegation zone, back into contention for a top four finish.
Mourinho still has no margin for error with
Chelsea's next assignment a tricky trip to Leicester and he could do with
misfiring striker Diego Costa following up his vote of confidence with a
lengthy scoring spree.
"Despite things not going well he is
not to blame," said Costa, who was recalled by Mourinho against Porto
after a spell on the bench.
"When four or five players are not
playing well it is more difficult. The manager has been fighting and
encouraging us to turn this around."
Leicester's remarkable rise to the top of
the table in their first season under former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri makes
them dangerous opponents for the west Londoners.
But Ranieri fears Chelsea are coming back
into form just in time for Monday's trip to the King Power Stadium.
"Their record does not mean anything
as Chelsea are Chelsea and Mourinho is Mourinho," Ranieri said.
"I'm sure at the end of the season
they will be in the top four.
"I respect them a lot because I
watched the Porto match. They played very well with good concentration."
Arsenal also reached the Champions League
last 16 in midweek thanks to Olivier Giroud's hat-trick in a 3-0 win at
Arsene Wenger's side, two points behind
Leicester in second place, return to domestic action at bottom of the table
Aston Villa on Sunday and winger Theo Walcott says their spirited success in
front of a hostile crowd in Greece bodes well for their title challenge.
"We never give up and you should have
seen them buzzing right at the end in the dressing room," Walcott said.
"That is the spirit we want in this
team. It is the spirit that we can push on and improve."
Third placed Manchester City host manager
less Swansea, who sacked Garry Monk in midweek.