Man United owners, the Glazer family, still backing Jose Mourinho - sources
Manchester United's owners, the Glazer family, believe Jose Mourinho can still restore an air of calm at Old Trafford and kick-start the team's season, sources have told ESPN FC, despite growing concerns within the club over the manager's inability to halt the worrying slump in form.
United's winless run in front of their own supporters at Old Trafford now dates back to the opening weekend of the Premier League season following Tuesday's 0-0 draw against Valencia in the Champions League.
That stalemate also extended United's sequence without a win to four games in all competitions -- a run that includes last week's Carabao Cup third round elimination at the hands of Championship outfit Derby County following a penalty shootout.
With the club's poor form coinciding with some senior players becoming unhappy with Mourinho's man-management, and the public confrontation between the Portuguese coach and midfielder Paul Pogba in front of the cameras at training last week, pressure has intensified on the former Chelsea manager to inspire a turnaround in the club's fortunes on the pitch.
But while the Glazers are aware of the tension around the club, both inside and outside the dressing room, sources have told ESPN FC that there is no current mood to dismiss Mourinho and search for a new manager.
The Florida-based owners, who are in daily contact with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, are determined to uphold their reputation for giving managers time to turn difficult situations around at Old Trafford.
Despite dismissing David Moyes just nine months into his six-year contract as United manager in April 2014, the Glazers persevered with the Scot long after many senior players had lost faith in the former Everton manager, choosing only to confirm his sacking after qualification for the Champions League became a mathematical impossibility.
And Louis van Gaal was sacked in May 2016 -- two days after winning the FA Cup -- despite strong calls for the Dutchman to be dismissed halfway through a campaign in which United once again failed to qualify for the Champions League. The Glazers' current position on Mourinho is, according to sources, partly due to a lack of suitable, and available, candidates to replace him should he depart.
Zinedine Zidane is available after resigning as Real Madrid coach during the summer, but the likes of Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri would prove almost impossible to prise from their jobs in mid-season.
Results will ultimately decide Mourinho's fate, however, and a defeat at home to struggling Newcastle United on Saturday would do little to improve his prospects.
The Glazers believe that the manager's track record has earned him the right to navigate the team through its current difficulties, but a further downturn in results would remove any cushion that Mourinho currently enjoys at Old Trafford.