Former Manchester United star Bryan Robson has backed Jose Mourinho to turn the club’s fortunes around but insists that the Portuguese needs to pick two centre-backs that he trusts.
Mourinho’s future at United is under much scrutiny after the 3-2 loss to Brighton was followed by a 3-0 defeat at home to Tottenham.
Robson believes that United should keep faith in Mourinho, despite the club’s hugely concerning start to the season.
Speaking to MUTV, Robson said: ‘It’s too easy. The minority of fans in clubs will be asking for the manager’s head after a few bad results and it’s often they speak the loudest. The track record that Jose has holds up. After three games, you don’t talk about sacking the manager, you encourage and back him.’
Mourinho has frequently flitted between different options at centre-back and Robson believes the manager needs to settle on a regular pairing.
Robson said: ‘What I’d like to see is Jose picking two centre halves he trusts and see them for a run of games.
‘We need two defenders who know each other properly. Like Rio (Ferdinand) and (Nemanja) Vidic and others but the centre halves have also always been in the team. It would be nice to see that for a run of games and get clean sheets.’
Leicester’s Harry Maguire was heavily linked with a switch to Old Trafford in the summer transfer window but the move failed to materialise. Robson feels that the England international would have been a great signing but insisted that United must move on.
He said: ‘He would’ve been great but it wasn’t to happen. Sometimes it can’t happen. What we’ve got to do is to stop talking about it. We’ve got to get the best out of our centre halves.’
Mourinho received a positive reception from some United supporters after the Tottenham game, and Robson was full of praise for the fans.
He said: ‘That’s what’s great about United fans. If you’re having a bad time or good time, they stay behind you and don’t get carried away.
Our fans will put up with certain things but we’ve got so used to winning that it’s the culture of this club. That’s why there’s so much pressure on.’
Against Tottenham, Mourinho made the unconventional decision of deploying Ander Herrera in a back three, and Robson believes United were unfortunate that the tactic didn’t pay off.
Robson said: It was interesting where Ander (Herrera) played. Ander was trying to be in front of Harry Kane but the manager has said they worked on it a lot and it worked really well but we got off to such a bad start that you can’t concede goals like we did.
‘Phil was a bit slack with defending the corner but he needs to do a bit better on the defending side of it.’
Mourinho has cut a disgruntled figure in many of his recent press conferences and Robson is yearning for a return to the manager’s Chelsea days, when his meetings with the media were often hugely entertaining.
He said: ‘I would like to see Jose have more of a relationship with the media. Like he was with Chelsea. Great press conferences and he was jovial. Instead of being at war with them.’
United return to action on Sunday when they travel to face Burnley, with Mourinho’s side determined to get back to winning ways.