Phil Neville praise for 'courageous' Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho

I am one of the greatest managers in the world - Mourinho

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is being "courageous" by "taking the hits" for his players and protecting them, says England women's boss Phil Neville.

United have lost two of their opening three league games and, following a 3-0 defeat at home by Tottenham on Monday, Mourinho walked out of a news conference demanding respect.

"He'll not be happy with what he has seen in the first three games but he is the right man for the job because of his proven track record," said ex-United defender Neville.

"There were times when [former Manchester United manager] Sir Alex Ferguson took the pressure off us as players.

"All the focus is on Jose because he is taking the battering at the moment. That is a sign of a courageous manager that doesn't throw his players under a bus and is protecting them."

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Neville added: "There are players in that Manchester United dressing room that probably know that they can be playing better but he is not criticising them publicly at the moment.

"He is actually taking the hits for them. As a young manager, that's something that I am looking at and thinking 'that's something that I would like to do for my players'."

However, while Mourinho might be trying to deflect attention from his players at the start the current campaign, he has targeted some of them in the past.

Mourinho questioned left-back Luke Shaw's commitment to the Old Trafford club last season, with Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford among others to have been criticised during his tenure.external-link

United play at Burnley on Sunday in their next top-flight match.