Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has said he could quit after his side's 2-0 defeat at the hands of Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day. It was the Red Devils' third consecutive defeat in the league. They are without a win from the last seven matches in all competitions.

"It is not always the club that has to fire or sack me. Sometimes I do that by myself, but I am the one who wants to speak first with the board of Manchester United and my members of staff and my players, not with you," BBC quoted Van Gaal as saying.

United lost their first league match at Old Trafford against Norwich City on 19 December after which the Dutchman admitted he was "worried" about his job. The Guardian reported he had two matches – against Stoke and Chelsea – to save his job, out of which they have now lost to the Potters.

The 20-time English champions face the west London club on 28 December at home. According to the Daily Mail, Van Gaal will step down from his post if United fail to beat Chelsea at Old Trafford.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager is under pressure as a defeat against the Blues will see him leave the club with Ryan Giggs taking temporary charge, the report said. The Dutchman also admitted that the situation at United was difficult, but hinted that players are also responsible for their disappointing run for over a month.

"That is now the big issue, I have tried to do everything but the pressure shall be higher and higher with every match," the United manager explained, as reported by the club's official website. "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."