Van Gaal came under huge pressure this season following a run of awful results and performances at Man United.
The Dutchman did end the campaign on a high note with victory in the FA Cup last week, but he was sacked two days later on Monday. Blind, who was signed by van Gaal in 2014, expressed his sympathy for his former manager.
“I’ve enjoyed working with the manager so much,” Blind said.
“I would have liked to have carried on for a long while. A manager at a big club in the Premier League will always be under pressure. But in the case of van Gaal he has not been treated fairly over the last six months.
“I think a manager with the status of van Gaal, who has achieved so much in his career, deserved more respect. No matter what was said or written about him as a manager, he never stopped protecting us as players. He has defended us under any kind of circumstances, he was always taking the stick instead of us.
“I think I can say that the whole squad is grateful for that, for what he has done in that respect for us as players. As players we kept believing in each other and we also kept believing in our manager, which was part of the reason we were able to win the FA Cup. We achieved this as a group, including the manager. In the end, this was a successful season in our eyes.”
The nature of van Gaal’s departure certainly could have been handled better. The celebrations had barely started after the FA Cup win before the news of Jose Mourinho’s imminent arrival at United broke. And van Gaal was said to be unaware of the situation until this week.
But in the age of social media and agent interference, it is now extremely difficult to keep news under wraps. United’s pursuit of Mourinho had been rumoured for months, after all.
Van Gaal has been in the game long enough to know the score and his statement following his departure gave the sense that he knew it was a sensible decision to make.