Com­bat­ive Mour­inho ques­tions lame Devils

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

JOSE MOUR­INHO has taken a swipe at the Manch­ester United play­ers he fears might not have the right at­ti­tude to guide his side back into the Premier League ti­tle race.

A touch­line ban meant that Mour­inho was con­fined to the stands at the Lib­erty Sta­dium, where first half goals from Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic (2) and Paul Pogba helped United to only a sec­ond League vic­tory in eight games.

Be­fore the match the United man­ager ran through the team news with MUTV and said: “Small­ing doesn’t feel that he can play 100% with his pain, Luke Shaw told me this morn­ing that he was not in the con­di­tion to play, so we had to build a de­fen­sive line.”

Rather point­edly Mour­inho added: “Da­ley Blind has some prob­lems but he put him­self avail­able to be on the bench and to try to help the team, so the peo­ple that are here are peo­ple that I trust for a dif­fi­cult match.”

How­ever, after Manch­ester United’s con­sum­mate 3-1 suc­cess, Mour­inho was happy to face the press and ex­plain his ear­lier com­ments on MUTV.

“We have play­ers with prob­lems, but we also have play­ers on the pitch who have prob­lems,” he said.

“And that is what I mean, be­cause in ev­ery sport, and I know that be­cause I have friends from other sports, play­ing at the high­est level. How many times do they play when they are not 100%?

“I have a friend who is a big ten­nis player and he tells me that he re­mem­bers more times when he has played with pain than the times he has played with­out any pain. To com­pete, you have to work to the lim­its.

“It is a cul­tural thing, for some. That’s not my cul­ture.”

Asked if play­ers needed to change to play for him, Mour­inho said; “Ex­actly, but more than me, Man United. More than me, Man United.”

De­spite Mour­inho’s blast, he could have no com­plaints about the over­all United per­for­mance yes­ter­day.

“After the draw against Burn­ley we needed points,” he said.

“We put in a great per­for­mance against Burn­ley, but only came away with one point. We needed three points to­day, more than the per­for­mance. But we got both.

“Zla­tan does not lack con­fi­dence. I used to say that a striker who doesn’t score goals and does noth­ing else, means you have one player less.

“A striker who doesn’t score goals, but does ev­ery­thing else, is a very im­por­tant player for the team. When Zla­tan was not scor­ing goals, he was do­ing ev­ery­thing else.”

While Ibrahi­movic was call­ing the tune in the fi­nal third, it was vet­eran Michael Car­rick who was dic­tat­ing the pace of the game in front of his back four.

“I would love Michael to play ev­ery game, but that is not pos­si­ble. He can’t play in ev­ery game for the same rea­son I can no longer go to the gym ev­ery day. But he started to­day and he played very, very well,” Mour­inho added.

Not even a 69th minute headed goal from Mike van der Hoorn could bring a smile to the face of Swansea man­ager Bob Bradley, whose side are stuck in the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

“We are in a tough spot, there is no two ways about that. We un­der­stand very clearly where we are and there is no hid­ing from that. But we un­der­stand all the ar­eas where we need to be bet­ter,” Bradley said. – AFP

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