'Man Utd need to reset without Mourinho' – Neville slams ‘naïve’ contract call and managerial choices

The former Red Devils defender believes a beleaguered boss is heading for the Old Trafford exits less than a year after penning fresh terms

Manchester United are “so naïve it’s unbelievable”, says Gary Neville, with the club now in a position where they are going to have to “reset” and break a contract handed to Jose Mourinho less than a year ago.

Back in January, the Red Devils tied their Portuguese coach to fresh terms which are due to run until 2020.

There appears to be little chance of him seeing out that deal, with a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday leaving many to suggest that he is teetering on the brink at Old Trafford.

Neville believes a change will be made, either now or in the summer of 2019, with United – who are 11 points adrift of the Premier League’s top four – finding themselves back in a troubling situation of their own creation.

The former Red Devils defender told Sky Sports: “Will Mourinho leave? I think it will happen, my preference would always be to get to the end of the season.

“But the boardroom is so naive it’s unbelievable, to give him an extended contract knowing the cycle of Mourinho and his three years. The third year is always the difficult year for him.

“So 18 months in, with United second in the league having won two trophies in his first season, that was the point where the board had to hold their nerve and keep him hungry in that third season. The minute he came back from pre-season he was at it and the club lost control.

“There isn’t that experience or knowledge of the club above him to be able to manage, control and handle him. His agent was out last week, he goes into press conferences and you don’t know what he’s going to say next and they don’t know what to do with him.

“They are paying the price now. The problem they will have now is that it will cost an absolute fortune to lose him and when you lose a manager midway through a season, there’s the situation of who is going to come in.

“What do they want for the next three or four years at the club? Because it’s not as easy as saying get rid of the manager. Manchester United need to reset. It’s not just the manager, it’s deeper than that.

“There is an incredible level of naivety and they lost control of the club when they gave him a new contract, they should never have done that. The minute he came out in that pre-season press conference the club should have gripped him and said, ‘we’re Manchester United, one more of those and…’ They’ve got to get a grip of their club.”

Neville added: “United fans don’t want to go to games, they are not looking forward to matches. That’s not just now, that was under David Moyes and it was the manager’s fault, under Louis van Gaal and it was the manager’s fault and now under Mourinho and it’s the manager’s fault.

“Three good managers that have good records – one of them the best in the last 20 years alongside Pep Guardiola – and that’s why you have to say something is broken.

“I’m sure Manchester United will change the manager at the end of the season at the latest, we’re all pretty certain of that.

“But there’s a multitude of issues, it’s more complex than the manager getting the best out of the players or not being backed. It’s a deep problem, it needs resetting, the whole club needs resetting.”

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