Louis van Gaal insists he will never be swayed by Jose Mourinho’s mind games because he has an ‘iron shield’ surrounding him.
Chelsea manager Mourinho is renowned for making jibes at his opponents in a bid to ruffle their feathers.
He has replaced Sir Alex Ferguson as the master of mind games in the Premier League but may have met his match in former mentor Van Gaal, who he faces at Old Trafford today.
‘I’m made from a little bit of iron so I have a shield, an iron shield,’ said the Manchester United boss, lowering his right hand in front of his face to represent a barrier.
Can anything get past it? ‘No,’ said Van Gaal, who was known in Holland as the ‘Iron Tulip’.
He added: ‘Because I think everybody can write or speak about me — I cannot change that — I have learnt not to react and believe in myself, my players, my staff and that is important.’
Where Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini have reacted to Mourinho’s comments over recent seasons, Van Gaal was calm ahead of United’s match against the league leaders today.