Mour­inho says he has ‘com­plete trust’ in play­ers

Man­ager praises in­jury-hit side fol­low­ing fifth con­sec­u­tive vic­tory

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Soccer - Jamie Jack­son at Old Traf­ford

José Mour­inho said he has com­plete trust in all of his Manch­ester United play­ers af­ter his side crushed Crys­tal Palace 4-0 for a fifth con­sec­u­tive vic­tory with­out the in­jured Paul Pogba.

The French­man sus­tained a ham­string prob­lem in the 3-0 win over Basel in a Cham­pi­ons League group game on Septem­ber 12th. Since then United have beaten Ever­ton 4-0, Bur­ton Al­bion 4-1, Southamp­ton 1-0 and CSKA Moscow 4-1 be­fore the vic­tory over Roy Hodg­son’s bot­tom-placed side.

Along with Pogba, Mour­inho is also miss­ing Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic, Mar­cos Rojo and Michael Car­rick, and the man­ager had been with­out Phil Jones and Marouane Fel­laini for the trip to CSKA.

Op­por­tu­nity

Yet Mour­inho said: “When we moan all the time about in­juries it looks like we don’t trust the other peo­ple and we have to. We never miss the play­ers that are in­jured, that’s our way of see­ing. They are in­jured, we don’t think about them. It’s an op­por­tu­nity for oth­ers, is a mo­ment for oth­ers to step up and to get the chance, so I think that’s good.”

Sim­i­lar­i­ties

United’s sixth win from seven league out­ings kept them in sec­ond place, only be­hind Manch­ester City by a goal dif­fer­ence of one. This is Mour­inho’s sec­ond season in charge of United and he has pre­vi­ously won the cham­pi­onship in the sec­ond term of all of the clubs he has man­aged.

Yet asked if he can see sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween United and those other ti­tle-win­ning teams, he said: “It’s too early. Seven matches. It’s too early.”

Juan Mata, who scored the opener against Palace, echoed Mour­inho’s view. “We need to try to fo­cus on each game and not think far­ther,” the Spa­niard said. “We are happy with the start of the season, we can­not lie. And we ar­rive at the in­ter­na­tional break in a very good mo­ment, scor­ing a lot of goals, not con­ced­ing in dif­fer­ent com­pe­ti­tions, so we know we have a good start but as well the man­ager is telling us all the time, and we know it, that it’s just the be­gin­ning and we need to keep calm.”

While that was Mata’s open­ing goal of the season, Fel­laini took his tally to four by reg­is­ter­ing twice against Palace. Romelu Lukaku com­pleted the scor­ing to make it 12 in 10 ap­pear­ances since the Bel­gian signed for £75 mil­lion (¤85 mil­lion) from Ever­ton in the sum­mer.

In all, United have scored 21 times in the league and 32 in all com­pe­ti­tions. Last year they lacked a cut­ting edge in front of goal and Mata, be­low, is un­sure what has changed.

Of­fen­sive du­ties

He said: “We are be­ing more ef­fi­cient. We are not train­ing more on fin­ish­ing than last season; it’s just down to con­fi­dence. Maybe it’s true that last season Zla­tan was scor­ing al­most ev­ery game and we tried to help with some goals but he was very re­spon­si­ble for our at­tack and this season ev­ery­one seems to en­joy the of­fen­sive du­ties. I don’t know the rea­son. It’s just – we are putting the ball in the back of the net.”

Of Lukaku, Mata said: “It’s a lot of goals, es­pe­cially when you come to a new en­vi­ron­ment. I knew he would score a lot but I didn’t know he would do it so quick, that’s true. He gives a lot more to the team, too, but for a striker it’s im­por­tant to score, es­pe­cially when you see other strik­ers are scor­ing.

“I be­lieve that is what he feels and he’s a good lad, a very hum­ble lad and ev­ery­one likes him in the dress­ing room, so we are happy for him.”

Af­ter the in­ter­na­tional break United travel to Liverpool. Last year’s cor­re­spond­ing fix­ture was a 0-0 draw but Mour­inho in­sisted he has yet to plan for the match.

“I didn’t even think about it, I just ended this game,” the 54-year-old said. “I’m not even think­ing about Liverpool, I can prom­ise you that; I didn’t have a sec­ond to think about the Liverpool game.”

Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fel­laini cel­e­brate scor­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.