Van Gaal calm as pressure mounts at Bayern

BERLIN - Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal is well aware his job may be on the line when the champions face Hanover 96 on Saturday but the Dutchman said he had learned to live with the pressure.

"I know how it works at top clubs, it is results that count," the 59-year-old former Barcelona and Netherlands coach told reporters when asked about the risk of being sacked if Bayern lost.

"I can live with that and can handle it. It is normal," he said. "I do feel sorry for my staff because I am going towards the end of my career."

Van Gaal's first season at Bayern was ended in triumph with a domestic double and a Champions League final spot last year but Bayern have struggled this time round.

They lost any chance of defending their Bundesliga title when they were beaten 3-1 at home by leaders Borussia Dortmund last week and four days later were eliminated in the German Cup semi-finals by Schalke 04.

They are, however, in a strong position to reach the Champions League quarter-finals after beating holders Inter Milan 1-0 in Italy in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

"I have not been sacked that often and have stayed long at my clubs. I am proud to be working at Bayern," Van Gaal said.

"If we win on Saturday then we are in third place and can still achieve what we have set out. Then the world will look differently," he said.

Bayern, lying fourth in the Bundesliga on 42 points, two behind Hanover in third, hope to finish second to clinch automatic qualification for the Champions League next season.