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28th Aug 2018

Gary Neville believes Manchester United should see out José Mourinho’s contract through to the end

Despite United's 3-0 defeat to Tottenham last night, Neville insists United should honour the contract that they gave Mourinho in January

Reuben Pinder

Not sure many United fans would agree

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher went into a detailed analysis of Manchester United capitulated against Tottenham last night. During their post-match discussion, the debate of whether United should sack José Mourinho now or back him until the end of his contract inevitably came up.

Gary Neville took the side of backing him all the way until the end of his contract, absolving Mourinho of some of the blame for United’s recent underperformance.

He warned United against becoming a “club of madness”, like Chelsea, who get through more managers than any other top six team.

United have traditionally given managers time to implement their ideas – an attitude that allowed Sir Alex Ferguson to succeed but also allowed David Moyes too long in a job he wasn’t suited to. That way of operating can be more detrimental to a club’s long term fortune in the modern game, but Neville still believes that sacking Mourinho now is not the answer.

“We saw Louis van Gaal sacked after an FA Cup final victory, we saw David Moyes sacked with four games to go of a season, so we are no longer talking about a football club that is behaving as it has historically done,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“I accept these are different times and I accept the difficulties and challenges, but my honest view as I stand here now is that Ed Woodward gave him a contract last season, only seven or eight months ago, and he should see that contract through to the end and do the job.

“You can’t keep jumping around with managers. I hear the third-year Mourinho stories and all the rest of it and you can’t disagree with those stories because there is some history.

“But what I would say is it’s time now for Manchester United to batten down the hatches and for Jose Mourinho and Ed Woodward to sort themselves out if there is a problem there.”

If Mourinho and Woodward can sort out their differences for the time being, United may be able to resurrect their season, but that is a big if.

“Get the team right for the rest of the season because the club is bigger than any individual. They have to get themselves sorted because it’s not a time for in-fighting and politics,” Neville added.

“He saw the end of his contract at Inter Milan, he saw the end of his contract at Porto and he saw the end of his contract at Real Madrid.

“It’s only at Chelsea, which is a club of madness, where this has happened. At Inter Milan, Porto and Real Madrid he saw it to the end so let’s not rewrite history. At Chelsea, everybody dies a little bit early. It’s that type of club, he’s not on his own there.

“It was tough for him at Real Madrid and he got through to the end of the season. I don’t see it happening during the season.”

Neville insisted that “to suggest that Manchester United are like Chelsea is not right. I have to say Manchester United still do things slightly differently.”

“It is still too early – three games into the season – to start suggesting there should be a change of manager.”

Mourinho’s contract ends in 2020, and Neville believes that if Mourinho can make a success of this season, “he should go through the next season as well, which is when his contract runs out.”