Former Man Utd No 2 warns Mourinho to shut up or face sack

Date published: Monday 27th August 2018 9:52 - James Marshment

Jose Mourinho is talking his way into the sack at Manchester United and he needs to keep quiet if he wants to keep the job long term.

That’s the warning coming from former Old Trafford No 2, Mike Phelan, who believes the under-fire Portuguese coach is in serious danger of talking his way out of his job at United.

The United boss has endured a difficult few months after seeing the club miss out on a number of key transfer targets and a number of disagreements reported between Mourinho and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at Brighton appears to have cranked up the pressure on Mourinho, while Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville had a few choice words for Woodward after their defeat at the Amex.

And with United facing a crucial match against Tottenham on Monday evening, Mourinho has clearly not been afraid to air his grievances in public.

But Phelan, who was a player, coach and eventually assistant manager under Sir Alex Ferguson, reckons Mourinho may have to bite his tongue if he wants to stay in the United hotseat.

Speaking to Sportsweek on Radio 5 Live, he said: “Any manager of any big institution, which is what Manchester United is, internationally, you have a role and a responsibility to give out the correct messages.

“You don’t have to avoid conflict, but you certainly have to conduct yourself in a way which is befitting of the tradition of where you’re working, and that’s something you can do by keeping your own counsel and getting on with the job.

“But he [Mourinho] is a completely different character and he expresses himself in a completely different way.

“There are opportunities to say things and there are opportunities to keep it to yourself. He chooses one way, and with that there are consequences in what you say.”

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Phelan also admitted fears that Mourinho’s verbal backlash will only strengthen Manchester City’s hand.

He continued: “I think that’s something they need to be very careful of because Manchester City are a very big club now and they’re very well run and they know how to use certain situations, and I think that helps – unrest across the road helps.”


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