It seems like it is make-or-break this weekend for Jose Mourinho’s tumultuous relationship with current club Manchester United, as the Red Devils face what is almost certain to be a tetchy encounter at Old Trafford with Newcastle United, with the Portuguese facing another old adversary, in the form of Rafa Benitez standing in the opposing dugout.
In the customary pre-match press conference held on Friday ahead of that Premier League fixture, Mourinho facing testing questions on the state of his United side following an underwhelming start to the season; turgid performances resulting in the 13-time Premier League champions winning less than half of their opening leagues matches and being knocked out of the EFL Cup by Championship side Derby. This is their worst start to a league campaign in almost three decades.
Though Mourinho was in no mood to pander to the press, he inadvertently provided the lurking journalists with more ammunition by ending the meeting after just six questions.
The gaffer defiantly rejected the question why things don’t seem to be going United’s way, simply stating that there are ‘many different reasons’. When probed to elaborate, Mourinho staunchly retorted ‘No’.
Mourinho subsequently went on to accept that the run that could culminate in the team not winning in five games for only the second time since 1999, is not good enough ‘for a club this size’, but when further questioned by journalist Simon Stone as to whether he has the fans’ backing, refused to answer and the press conference was swiftly ended.
It ultimately provides another indication that Mourinho’s time in Manchester is almost certainly up.
Manchester United versus Newcastle United kicks off Saturday 6th October, 17:30 (GMT), in what Mourinho expects to be ‘a difficult match’.