Louis van Gaal: Man United must learn to ignore criticsIBTimes UK

Ed Woodward, Manchester United's executive vice-chairman, may have to deal with a series of difficult questions when he faces investors after the club announces its third quarter results on Friday (13 May).

United's performances both on and off the pitch have come under severe scrutiny this season, with Louis van Gaal's side currently fifth, two points behind Manchester City, with their hopes of being in the Champions League next season hanging by a thread.

On Tuesday, van Gaal's men threw away a 2-1 lead against West Ham at Upton Park to hand the initiative in the race for a top four finish back to Manchester City, who will head to Swansea on Sunday knowing that a draw in their final game of the season will be enough to secure a Champions League place.

Should United fail to take part in European football's showpiece event for the second time in three seasons, van Gaal's future is expected to be up for debate again. The Dutchman has been on the brink of losing his job three times this season and United are understood to see a top four finish as the minimum requirement.

Van Gaal, who could still lift the FA Cup at Wembley on 21 May if his side beat Crystal Palace in the final, has remained adamant he will be in charge next season to see his three-year deal out.

United, for their part, have not spoken publicly about their manager, fuelling the uncertainty that surrounds the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager even further.

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been tipped to replace van Gaal at Old Trafford ever since he was sacked by the former Premier League champions back in December 2015 after a dismal run of results.

The Portuguese boss has remained tight-lipped over his next job, however, even though he indicated he will be working again in July. Woodward, the man who appointed van Gaal to replace David Moyes in the summer of 2014, has been the subject of severe scrutiny from the fans, who have blamed the man who facilitated the Glazer family's takeover back in 2005 for the club's lack of direction off the pitch.

During an investors' call to discuss the club's first-quarter results in February 2014, Woodward was forced to deny the club's finances would suffer if Moyes failed to steer them to a top four finish, and he might face a similar grilling on Friday.

In the 2013-14 season, Moyes was relieved off his duty soon after a 2-0 defeat away at Everton made it mathematically impossible for United to secure a Champions League spot.