As United winless run ends, Mourinho turns on absent players
Even after Manchester United’s four-match winless run in the Premier League ended, Jose Mourinho wasn’t happy - turning on players who missed Sunday’s 3-1 victory at Swansea.
“There is a difference between the brave, who want to be there at any cost, and the ones for whom a little pain can make a difference,” Mourinho said.
“We have players with problems,” he added. “I have friends in other sports and they play at the highest level at other sports, and how many times do they play when not 100 per cent? I have a friend that is a big tennis player. He tells me he remembers more the time he plays with pain than the time he plays without any pain and that’s what I mean. To compete you have to go to the limit.”
Asked about players not being prepared to play through pain, Mourinho replied: “It’s a cultural thing for some. That’s not my culture.”
Mourinho didn’t name the players he was aiming his comments at but he had discussed two ahead of the game in south Wales where Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s double and Paul Pogba’s volley secured the win.
“Chris Smalling doesn’t feel he can play 100 per cent with his pain and Luke Shaw this morning told me he was not in condition to play,” Mourinho said.
United is sixth, three points behind Tottenham, which drew 1-1 at Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s second goal was the 25,000th goal since the Premier League’s inception in 2012 and the 400th of his career - ending a goal drought in the league which stretched back over 10 hours.
“I’ve been a bit unlucky in recent games but it’s just working hard and it comes,” the 35-yearold Swede said.
Ibrahimovic only had to wait until the 33rd minute for his next goal with Rooney again the provider, the Swede powering through Angel Rangel’s timid tackle to fire high past Fabianski.
Man U. manager Jose Mourinho Photo: AP