Jose Mourinho said he received a text from the Manchester United board telling him to pay no attention to reports he was to be sacked regardless of the result in Saturday’s clash with Newcastle United.
The Daily Mirror published a story on Friday claiming Mourinho was to be dismissed as United manager this weekend, a situation that sparked much debate.
Former United captain Gary Neville – now a television pundit – slammed the club for allegedly leaking the story to a journalist, suggesting something similar happened when Louis van Gaal lost his job in 2016.
Mourinho’s side went on to win 3-2 at Old Trafford despite trailing 2-0 within 10 minutes, but the Portuguese insists the speculation surrounding his future had no impact because United’s hierarchy had already provided reassurances.
He told talkSPORT: ‘The ones that read the papers, that are connected with social media, they thought maybe I had gone [been sacked].
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 6, 2018
‘If I hadn’t had an SMS from my board not to read [into the speculation], I would have been convinced too.’
Unsurprisingly, Mourinho was prickly with reporters in his post-match news conference, particularly when asked about what he had said to his players at half-time to inspire the turnaround.
‘I think you will know what I told,’ Mourinho said. ‘If you want to know, you will know.
‘You know everything; what is true, what is not true. I’m pretty sure you will make some calls and you will know what I told at half-time.’
Mourinho also accused the media of doubting the professionalism of United’s players.
‘I think there is too much talk, you put in doubt the honesty and professionalism of the players,’ he added.