Manchester United taking the decision to sack Jose Mourinho would be “unfair”, says Michael Essien, with the Portuguese still the right man for the job.
A testing start to the 2018-19 campaign has seen pressure mount on a high-profile manager at Old Trafford.
Mourinho’s ongoing presence has divided opinion, although a number of his former players have spoken out in support of a coach who is being let down by an underperforming squad.
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Essien has now added his voice to those who believe United need to make brave calls during a difficult period and offer support to an under-fire boss, rather than ushering him through the exits.
A man who worked under Mourinho at Chelsea and Real Madrid during his playing days told Standard Sport: “It’s all part of the game. When things are not going right, clubs start making changes.
“It would be unfair [if they sacked him] but, as I said, it’s part of the game. Managers come and go but we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”
Essien added on the situation Mourinho finds himself in at Old Trafford: “They’ve had a very bad start to the season. Knowing Jose and the players, I am sure they will work hard and start to change things around.
“He’s a good man, first and foremost, and he always knows how to get the best out of his players. He knows when things are not going right and he knows what to do and the words to say to pick them up.
“I am sure he will do that and hopefully things will begin to change for him.
“He is [charismatic in training]. He is always close to his players. He’s such a good man but people see him differently on camera. But, off camera, he is such a lovely person.”
Mourinho was able to send his side into the international on the back of a dramatic 3-2 victory over Newcastle, but bigger tests now lie ahead.
United will return to domestic action on October 20 with a trip to Chelsea, before then taking in a Champions League reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo and his Juventus side.
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