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Neville: Mourinho Must be Scratching His Head
The Old Trafford outfit played out a dour 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace at the weekend, leaving them seventh in the Premier League, 14 points behind leaders Manchester City.
There have been highs this season, however, with a 2-1 win over Juventus in Italy seen as a potential turning point in the Portuguese’s reign, though that was followed by a meek surrender against Pep Guardiola’s side, as they lost 3-1.
Former United right-back Neville, thus, believes that Mourinho will be “scratching his head” as he looks to turn the club’s fortunes around.
“They’re inconsistent, not just in games, but from half to half within games,” he said on his own podcast, per Sky Sports.
“It’s not right obviously at this moment in time, the players are not performing anywhere near their level.
“You’d argue Jose at this moment in time will be scratching his head about which players to put out on the pitch.
“But he’s made changes before and it hasn’t really made any difference so it’s just about battling and fighting away at it, because it is a struggle. I think that’s the word to describe it.”
United are now seven points off the top four, which comprises City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea , and Neville believes Mourinho can only prioritise qualification for the Champions League at this point in time.
“I didn’t go to Old Trafford but I spoke to people who did. There’s a lethargy, in terms of the fans going into the ground, watching the game, players on the pitch,” he said.
“I think Jose gave the right message before the game saying they will end up in the top four. I don’t think it would have been acceptable at the start of the season, and certainly the start of last season, to say the top four is achievable, because he will have wanted to challenge for the title with the money that has been spent. That’s where United need to be.
“But they’re not near that level at this moment in time, and it typifies really what they are at the moment, which is inconsistent.
You can see them go away to Chelsea and nearly win, go away to Watford and Young Boys, and sometimes you can watch them at home against Wolves or Crystal Palace or Valencia, and they’re nowhere near.”