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Sherwood better for United than Mourinho, says Parker

Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker believes Tim Sherwood is a more suitable candidate to manage the club than Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho has been tipped to take over from Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, with the Dutchman coming under heavy scrutiny during a disappointing season.

United are six points behind fourth-placed Manchester City in the Premier League following a 2-1 defeat at Sunderland on Saturday, but Parker - who played for the club between 1991 and 1996 - does not feel Mourinho's personality is appropriate for the task at hand.

Instead, the former right-back suggested Tim Sherwood – without a club since being sacked by Aston Villa in October – as a better fit than the ex-Chelsea coach.

"[United] certainly don't look like a team about to surge back into form and make a run into the top four of the Premier League," Parker wrote in his Europsport column.

"But bringing in Jose Mourinho? That is absolutely not the answer. So to suggest that he could walk in to a crisis situation at United and turn it around is absurd.

"That's something he's never done in his career, and this really wouldn't be the time to start. He's lost a huge amount of respect in the game, and I suspect the players at United hate the idea of him taking over.

"Frankly, given how unhappy the players are right now, they'd be better off bringing in Tim Sherwood between now and the end of the season: someone to soft soap the players, given them a bit of a cuddle, get them feeling good about themselves once again."

However, Parker conceded Sherwood is unlikely to be considered for a long-term appointment, stating the club must avoid falling away from the Premier League's elite.

"Sadly, as we've seen with Tim, those sorts of managers don't work long term. And United need to start thinking about the long term as soon as possible, because if not they face the ultimate danger: turning into the new Liverpool," he added.

"They absolutely have to guard against that - and the next manager to come in must be appointed with that target clearly in focus."