Phil Neville defends Jose Mourinho over ‘unfair’ Man United criticism

The former Manchester United defender has been impressed with the Red Devils side under Jose Mourinho

Phil Neville believes Jose Mourinho has been subjected to unfair criticism after Manchester United’s 1-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon.

The Red Devils ended a run of three successive Premier League stalemates after Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored a 29th-minute winner to net his first goal in the English top flight.

Manchester United moved to within six points of fourth-placed Manchester City in the hunt for a place in next season’s Champions League competition after the Red Devils finished in fifth place last term.

Mourinho’s tactics have been criticised after his squad managed to win just twice in 12 Premier League games before their morale-boosting victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

However, former Manchester United defender Neville believes there have been signs of improvements since a 1-1 draw with Arsenal last month.

“Yes, Sunday’s win over Spurs was only United’s second in the past nine league games but some of the criticism of Mourinho has been getting over their form is very unfair,” Neville told BBC Sport.

“They only lost one game during that time and people were trying to look at their draws as disasters when they were nothing of the sort.

“People might say I am biased as an ex-United player but I am just saying ‘look at things from a balanced point of view’.

“United are sixth in the Premier League, into the last 32 of the Europa League and in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup. That is no disaster.”

Neville added: “Last week’s performance at Everton was probably their poorest in the past couple of months but generally, I have been watching them and thinking they are heading in the right direction.

“After watching their draw with Arsenal on 19 November I thought this was a much-improved United team with a system that worked.

“They look like they are going to attack, create chances and score goals.”

Manchester United appointed Mourinho as Louis van Gaal’s successor in May after the Red Devils finished in fifth place in the table last term.

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