Mour­inho says he can cope with ‘man­hunt’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

MANCH­ESTER UNITED man­ager Jose Mour­inho be­lieves there is “too much wicked­ness” in foot­ball but in­sists he can “cope with the man­hunt” against him.

Alexis Sanchez scored a 90th-minute win­ner as his team came from 2-0 down to beat New­cas­tle, end­ing a four-game win­less run.

Spec­u­la­tion over Mour­inho’s fu­ture has in­creased, but prior to kick-off he re­tained the sup­port of the club.

“It is the first time I see man-hunt­ing. I can cope with it,” he said.

“I can live with it. Some of the boys, in spite of them not be­ing the man that is hunted, they are not cop­ing well with it,” Mour­inho, 55, told BT Sport.

“Mar­cus Rash­ford was sad on the pitch, Scott McTom­i­nay was scared on the pitch. Even older play­ers com­mit mis­takes that are not nor­mal.”

There were boos at half-time as Rafael Ben­itez’s win­less New­cas­tle led, hav­ing scored twice in the open­ing 10 min­utes at Old Traf­ford.

Mour­inho, un­der grow­ing pres­sure af­ter United recorded their worst league start for 29 years, ad­mit­ted on Fri­day that the cur­rent run was not good enough.

And re­ports on Fri­day sug­gested he could lose his job re­gard­less of the re­sult against New­cas­tle - although BBC Sport un­der­stands he still re­tains the back­ing of the board.

“As a friend of mine was say­ing to me this morn­ing, if to­mor­row it rains in Lon­don it is my fault,” Mour­inho said.

“If there are some dif­fi­cul­ties with the agree­ments of Brexit, it is my fault.

“I have to be ready for all of this. I think a lot of wicked­ness and clear man-hunt­ing in foot­ball is too much.

“It is my life. It is the life I love and since I was a kid I work for this.”

At full-time, with the come­back com­plete, the home fans in the Old Traf­ford crowd were sing­ing the man­ager’s name.

The re­sponse, as United claimed a first win at home since the open­ing day of the sea­son on 10 Au­gust, sur­prised Mour­inho - although it was not, he says, one he nec­es­sar­ily wanted.

“At half-time we were los­ing 2-0 and the fans were mag­nif­i­cent to the team and that is fan­tas­tic,” said Mour­inho.

“I’m amazed by that re­sponse [sing­ing his name]. I don’t want that, and if I could tell them to not do it I would, be­cause it is not about me, it is about the foot­ball club they love and the foot­ball club we rep­re­sent with hon­our and dig­nity.

“In my foot­ball mem­o­ries, I re­mem­ber [as man­ager of Chelsea] I beat Liver­pool at An­field 4-0 and I was amazed the sta­dium was sing­ing their song, but now I am in a sit­u­a­tion where I’m los­ing 2-0 at home in a match ev­ery­one knows is im­por­tant for us to win, and they were amaz­ing.

“I am re­ally grate­ful for that and my hap­pi­ness about the vic­tory is not for my­self it is for the fans and the play­ers.” — BBC Sport

Jose Mour­inho

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