Jose Mourinho is confident that he will keep his job as Manchester United manager, despite rumours linking the club with former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane. Mourinho is currently in the midst of one of his toughest ever periods in football management, with United failing to win each of their last three matches, including a disappointing 3-1 defeat to West Ham on Saturday.
When it was announced that Manchester United were to share a Champions League group with Juventus and Valencia, fans knew that they were in for some difficult mid-week encounters. Few suspected however, that the second fixture of the tournament would weigh so heavily on under-fire manager Jose Mourinho, who has been at the centre of a media storm over the last few days.
Indeed, if the papers are to be believed, anything short of a victory for United tomorrow night could spell the end of Mourinho’s reign at Old Trafford, with Zinedine Zidane now odds on to replace the Portuguese before the end of the season.
In his pre-match press conference, Mourinho was quick to dodge suggestions that he had been in contact with Zidane, even joking that his phone may have been bugged by journalists. He did have a few select words for his players however, giving a statement that was likely aimed towards midfielder Paul Pogba.
“After 20 years of football I am still the kid I was 20 years ago, and I am still naive,” said Mourinho. “But I still don’t believe a player is not honest. Ask people with great reputations in the game if they ever went to a game not to try to give their best.
“If somebody tells me ‘I was a player and on one occasion I didn’t give my best’, then I’ll change my opinion. Until somebody with a big reputation tell me ‘I was a dishonest player’, I will always believe the players are honest.”
When asked if he had been in contact with United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward following the West Ham game, Mourinho responded: “That is a private matter, I am not asking you. It is a private matter, I am not going to answer to you.”
When asked if his job was on the line, his response was more direct: “No. I don’t think so.” he said, before leaving abruptly.