Under-fire Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will not leave his post without a fight, according to one of his former assistants.
Raymond Verheijen said he believes Van Gaal remains in a steady position, despite persistent rumours that the axe is set to fall on the Dutch manager, with a potential move for ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and outgoing Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola on the cards.
The reports raised the ire of Van Gaal who stormed out of his press conference ahead of United's Boxing Day clash at Stoke City, which could reportedly be Van Gaal's last chance to turn the club's insipid form around.
Van Gaal said he only appeared at the press conference to comply with Premier League rules, enquired if any of the media present felt the need to apologise to him before wishing everyone a 'Merry Christmas' and leaving without responding to any further questions.
But Verheijen said he believes Van Gaal remains in a safe position.
"I saw the press conference for Van Gaal but I think he is in a stable situation," Verheijen told BBC.
"They clearly have developed a three-year plan.
"I don't think the American owners will sack him. There are a lot of things they really like about him, one of them is that he has improved the training ground."
However, Verheijen acknowledged that Van Gaal would have to address United's poor form sooner rather than later.
"But if you are manager of Manchester United you should understand that if you lose three times in a row, you will be criticised," he said.
"United is not a club that you can develop a team for two or three years, United is one of the biggest clubs and you have to perform.
"Louis van Gaal is not a quitter, he is a fighter. He will fight until the last day and he is looking for the full three years and maybe staying longer."