Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson cannot understand the timing of Brian McDermott's axing by Reading.
McDermott was sacked this week, with nine Barclays Premier League games remaining of a relegation fight the Royals still have a chance of winning. Ferguson is amongst those who feel McDermott had done a good job, pointing out he was January's manager of the month following a run of impressive victories.
However, he simply doesn't understand why there should be a change at this point, with McDermott now joining Mark Hughes and Nigel Adkins as managers who have lost their jobs immediately before a trip to Manchester United. "The timing is surprising," said Ferguson.
"If a new manager comes along, they can't buy anyone. What he has got he has got.
"If they had done it in December or January maybe I would have understood it because it would have given a new manager time to bring players in during the window."
Even then, Ferguson would have been scratching his head.
Having offered McDermott advice earlier in the season, the United boss feels by any measure, the former Chelsea coach has been a success at the Madejski Stadium.
"He spent something like £1.2million and £7.4million has come in, so financially he has been successful," added Ferguson.
"He also got them promoted to the Premier League. I don't know what more you can do.
"He was manager of the month in January - I hope I am not manager of the month this month."