Jose Mourinho "looks fed up" and will be out of Old Trafford before the turn of the year, according to ex-Manchester United star Lee Sharpe.
United suffered a 3-2 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday after turning in a dour display at the Amex Stadium, on the same day Premier League champions Manchester City thrashed Huddersfield Town 6-1.
Mourinho blamed individual errors for the defeat, but former players including Gary Neville and Paul Scholes were hugely critical of the overall performance of the side, while captain Paul Pogba admitted their attitude had been poor.
With Mourinho having been at loggerheads with United's powerbrokers over transfers and having won no trophies last season, Sharpe thinks it is a matter of time before the negative atmosphere around Old Trafford forces the club to make a change.
"I am expecting the manager to get sacked before Christmas," he told Sky Sports. "If he is going to continue with this dourness and this moaning, then people will turn around and say this attitude is not getting us to the top so we need to change it.
"It just seems same old same old. As much as the press and fans have been on Jose Mourinho's case about the negativity over the past few seasons and him moaning about players he has and has not got, he just seems to ignore everybody and carry on as usual.
"He looks fed up and it is reflecting in his team's performances. He is playing negative stuff."
Mourinho has been accused of being too critical of his players in public during his time at the club, although he pointedly refused to single out any of his starting XI after the Brighton loss.
Sharpe, who was part of the United side that won the Premier League and FA Cup double in back-to-back seasons between 1994 and 1996, says the current boss should treat his players in the same manner as Alex Ferguson did.
"One of the things you respected about Sir Alex Ferguson is that he kept things in house," he said of the club's lauded former manager.
"It was done in his office and the dressing room. Nothing ever went to the press in terms of issues he had with players. I think Mourinho could do with taking a leaf out of his book and using that. Nobody digs out their players in public. He is hanging them out to dry.
"Paul Pogba is a special talent, a special individual and a special character. It might be different to how you treat other people but you have to do what you have to do to get the best from him.
"That's what everybody wants to see, the Paul Pogba who rips everyone to shreds for France. It doesn't happen enough at United. I don't know why that is. Is it Mourinho? Does he put too many restrictions on him? Does he put him under too much pressure? I'm not sure but it needs to be sorted out for United to have any chance this season."
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