Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville insists that Jose Mourinho should be given more time at Manchester United, referencing a bad spell under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Portuguese boss has endured a nightmare start to the 2018-19 campaign, which has seen the Red Devils fall seven points off the pace at the top of the table after just eight games.
Losses against Brighton, Tottenham and West Ham along with a disappointing home draw against Wolves have heaped the pressure on the 55-year-old coach, who seems to be fighting for his life in the hot seat at Old Trafford at the moment.
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On Saturday against Newcastle United, Mourinho’s misery was very nearly compounded further, as the Magpies raced into a two-goal lead in the first 15 minutes of the contest.
However, a second-half revival ensued after the interval, as goals from Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez earned United a sensational 3-2 comeback victory at the Theatre of Dreams.
The result has given Mourinho a temporary reprieve heading into the international break, but former Man United full-back Neville has backed the enigmatic tactician to turn the club’s fortunes around, just as Sir Alex did during a tough period between 2003 and 2006.
“Jose is a serial winner – he’s always won wherever he’s been – and I don’t buy into this theory that Jose Mourinho’s finished, that he’s a manager of yesterday, that Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino are today’s managers,” said Neville, as per the Manchester Evening News.
“I heard that from 2003 to 2006 about Sir Alex Ferguson when Arsene Wenger, Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho first came to England and Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t win the title for three years.
“There were suggestions in that period, ‘Oh is this the end of Sir Alex?’ But all it needed was a little bit more time to build a new team and Jose Mourinho needs some time to work it out.
“He needs some time – not to build a new team – but he needs time to work this out.”
When the players return to Manchester after national duty in a fortnight, Mourinho will have to prepare them for a crunch game against table-topping Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, before a Champions League tie against Juventus three days later.
The tough fixtures keep coming for the Red Devils thereafter and supporters might have to exercise a great deal of patience before the good times return to the club, however, the win against Newcastle was at least a glimpse of what the team is capable of when the players are in full flow.