Manchester United host Newcastle at Old Trafford at 17:30 BST on Saturday, looking to avoid going five games without a win for only the second time since 1998. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho retains the support of the club’s board to turn the present situation around.
The club’s recent form has led to intense speculation about the former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager’s future. However, it is understood there is no immediate threat to his position. United have previously indicated results would be the determining factor in deciding Mourinho’s future and that remains the case despite reports of unrest behind the scenes.
Last weekend’s 3-1 loss at West Ham made this the Red Devils’ worst start to a league campaign for 29 years. Their poor performances have been compounded by off-field problems, with the relationship between Mourinho and midfielder Paul Pogba making headlines.
After Newcastle on Saturday, United face Chelsea in the Premier League, Juventus in the Champions League twice and the derby against Manchester City in their next six fixtures.
Neville ‘furious’ after sacking report
Former United captain Gary Neville heavily criticised the club’s board after it was reported Mourinho will be sacked following the game against Newcastle, regardless of the result. Neville told Sky Sports he was “furious” at the idea that a manager’s dismissal might leak out before being made official, and said there is “something rotten to the core” with the club’s decisions.
United have not responded to questions about the report in Saturday’s Daily Mirror. The Red Devils’ sackings of Louis van Gaal and David Moyes – Mourinho’s two immediate predecessors – were both reported in the media before the club’s official announcements.
“There is something rotten to the core of the decisions that have been made over the last four or five years,” said Neville, who added that he did not know if the report about Mourinho was true.
“If I’m the person who employs the person underneath me and he fails, eventually I’ve got to take the responsibility. Eventually, I’ve got to stand up and say: ‘Look, I’m not good enough to do this.'” Neville, 43, made 602 appearances for United, winning 16 trophies.
He suggested Mourinho should have been allowed to sign a central defender in the summer – whether it be Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, Leicester’s Harry Maguire or Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng.
The former defender added: “Who is qualified in that football club to be able to tell Jose Mourinho that Alderweireld or Maguire or Boateng are not better than the centre-backs that they’ve got? “I’m furious. It’s been coming for three or four weeks. “The dressing room is leading what’s happening. The tail is wagging the dog at the football club. Get some control back, get some leadership.”
Source: BBC News