Jose Mourinho 'knows names' of players blamed for Aitor Karanka axe

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said he "knows" the names of Middlesbrough players who allegedly helped to get Aitor Karanka the sack.

Karanka, Mourinho's assistant at Real Madrid, was relieved of his duties on Thursday with Middlesbrough in the Premier League relegation zone.

Since arriving at the club three years ago, Karanka averted the threat of relegation from the Championship before steering them to a playoff final and then automatic promotion last season.

And speaking at a news conference before United take on Boro at Old Trafford on Sunday, Mourinho said: "In this case, I know the names" when asked whether player power had led to the manager's departure.

The United manager sarcastically said Karanka "deserved to be sacked."

He added: "In the first year he arrived, the team was going into League One and he saved the team.

"In the second year, he took the team to Wembley, to play the playoff final.

"In the third year, he had direct promotion.

"So I think in the fourth year, he deserved to be sacked."

Meanwhile, Boro have announced that Joe Jordan has been appointed to help caretaker boss Steve Agnew.

The former Scotland international, who worked alongside Harry Redknapp at Tottenham Hotspur, arrives as goalkeeping coach Marcos Abad and analysts Juanjo Vila and Guillermo Salinas depart.