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Jose Mourinho could still be sacked by Manchester United

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Mourinho says ‘manhunt’ against him affecting United players

Michael Essien, a Premier League victor under Jose Mourinho, expects his old boss to be Manchester United manager for a while longer.

The Portuguese coach was captured speaking into a camera as he walked down the touchline towards the Old Trafford tunnel after the final whistle.

Alexis Sanchez then rose highest in the 90th minute to head United in front, a result which may have saved Mourinho's job.

"It was special", attacking midfielder Mata said. "Some of the boys, in spite of them not being the man that is hunted, they are not coping well with it".

Mourinho explained: "During half-time we opened our hearts and we spoke about tactical changes for two minutes". You push even more. "I think they saw today that we tried everything and we came back and from the mental point of view it was a very important three points".

Wayne Rooney has thrown his support behind his embattled former manager Jose Mourinho, telling those Manchester United team-mates he once played alongside that they have under-performed in recent weeks and must take their share of the responsibility.

"I'm very happy for the team, for us, but especially for the fans".

Mourinho has struggled at Old Trafford this season and could well be axed before the campaign is over.

Sources have told ESPN FC that the manager believes the lack of reinforcements is the key reason for United's poor start and has urged executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to rectify that situation in January. Even though it felt very hard we did it.

When asked about the speculation around his future after his side's 3-2 victory, Mourinho said: "I am 55 years old. It is the first time I see manhunting".

"I felt as soon as it kicked off, something inside me was meant to be".

On the weekend, it looked like the Red Devils would stumble to another defeat after they went 2-0 down to Newcastle inside 10 minutes, but Mourinho's players rallied and ended up winning 3-2.

Howe has previously said he wants to build his team around Ake.

"We can not upset, because we did so well for a while, and we deserved more". After the second half against Newcastle people might think differently.

While Mourinho's Reds celebrated, second-bottom Newcastle let a first win of the season slip out of their grasp.

Instead, he claimed the criticism was more of a problem for players who froze under the spotlight.

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