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Neville backs Mourinho as best choice for United

Former Manchester United defender Phil Neville believes Jose Mourinho is the man to bring the Premier League title back to Old Trafford.

The 53-year-old Portuguese is widely reported to have agreed terms on a deal that will see him replace Louis van Gaal next week, despite the current manager leading United to victory in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Crystal Palace.

And Neville is confident the former Chelsea boss can drive the club back to the top of English football.

“At the moment, Jose is the best man for the job,” he told BBC Sport. “For as long as I’ve known it, you’ve got to be the best at Manchester United.

“Mourinho is a proven winner. United fans want a team challenging for the league title, they don’t want a team finishing in seventh or fifth.

“I can’t see him staying for too long at United – maybe two or three years seems to be his shelf life at a club – but as long as he brings success, United fans won’t be unhappy.”

Neville, who worked as United’s first-team coach under David Moyes in 2013-14, also feels Mourinho’s sometimes abrasive approach should not be of undue concern to the club’s supporters.

“I know you have to manage a certain way when you’re manager of Manchester United,” he said, “But if you take away that brashness, you lose what Jose Mourinho is about.

“He likes to create this siege mentality and that’s what Sir Alex [Ferguson] did for 26 years. 

“He told us in every team meeting that the rest of the world doesn’t like you, wants you to fail and that was the basis of our motivation in a lot of our games.

“Sir Alex did like to create a cause for the fight, with the media and with other managers. If Mourinho does that at United, the fans will take him to their hearts.”

Sun 22 May, 2016
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