Lukaku and Matic backed Mourinho in Ed Woodward talks before Utd sacking

Lukaku and Matic backed Mourinho in Ed Woodward talks before Utd sacking

United's executive vice-chairman Woodward consulted the players over how they felt things were progressing before he sacked Mourinho yesterday.

SunSport revealed at the weekend that Mourinho had lost the backing of 90 per cent of his players as the season lurched from one crisis to another.

And Woodward was left in no doubt from his conversations with the playing staff  that the time had come to make the change.

But the Mirror say at least two stars did try to stand up for their manager – midfielder Matic and striker Lukaku.

Yet despite saying they were happy enough to continue working under the controversial manager, Mourinho's fate was sealed.

The fact the duo were still able to offer support will raise eyebrows among supporters – particularly Lukaku.

The striker had been dropped by the manager in recent weeks after an alarming loss of form in front of goal.

But the Belgian had accepted he was partly to blame for his recent displays because he felt he had bulked up too much over the summer.

Matic, however, had been criticised by some sections of the crowd for his poor form in recent months.

Despite his poor form, Matic remained a favourite of Mourinho right until the end even when others were being left out of the side.

The midfielder was one of the mainstays of Mourinho's more reserved tactics which often came under attack from the crowd for being too negative.

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