United find the right gear


The Citizen (KZN) - - Internatio­nal - Manch­ester

Jose Mour­inho con­ceded his for­mer club Manch­ester United had de­served their 2-1 Pre­mier League vic­tory over his new team Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur on Wed­nes­day and hailed the per­for­mance of Mar­cus Rash­ford.

Mour­inho took over as Spurs man­ager last month, nearly a year af­ter he was fired by United.

“I think they de­served the vic­tory by their first half. We didn’t start well at all,” said Mour­inho, whose side fell be­hind to a sev­enth-minute goal from Rash­ford.

“I think for the first 30 min­utes they were the best team, and I think be­cause of that, for this strong 30 min­utes where we were not there, and also be­cause of the way we con­ceded the sec­ond goal, I think they de­served to win,” he added.

Mour­inho noted that Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer’s side, held by As­ton Villa and Sh­effield United in their last two league games, had de­liv­ered their best dis­plays against the top-rated teams.

“United re­sults against the best teams this sea­son have been good. Chelsea, Liver­pool, Le­ices­ter,” he said.

“For the way they play it is eas­ier for them. They are not afraid to have a de­fen­sive ap­proach. It is eas­ier for them against bet­ter teams, against teams who want more of the ball,” he added.

The Por­tuguese, sacked by United af­ter two-and-a-half sea­sons in charge, had plenty of praise for his for­mer for­ward Rash­ford.

“When he plays from the left he is re­ally dan­ger­ous and I knew that and gave the play­ers the best in­for­ma­tion about it. His first goal is a typ­i­cal Rash­ford goal com­ing on the in­side. Our boys knew that clearly,” he said.

Sol­sk­jaer was un­sur­pris­ingly even more ful­some in his praise of the 22-year-old Eng­land in­ter­na­tional, who de­liv­ered a per­for­mance of real qual­ity.

“It’s the best he’s had un­der me. He was ma­ture, strong against good Pre­mier League play­ers,” the Nor­we­gian said.

“It’s like he was back on the play­ground or in the back gar­den. We want them to have fun, there’s noth­ing dan­ger­ous out there - just 75 000 peo­ple, want­ing to see the best,” he said.

With some ques­tion­ing Sol­sk­jaer af­ter the club’s worst start to a sea­son since 1988/89, the win which moved United up to sixth, was a ma­jor boost.

“The three points are mas­sive for us. We’ve had too many draws this sea­son and given too many points away from win­ning po­si­tions,” Sol­sk­jaer said.

“We’re look­ing to build this club again.

“When we turn the cor­ner and win three or four games on the run, they will get that Man United feel­ing again.” –

Pic­ture: AFP

GOOD ONE. Manch­ester United’s Mar­cus Rash­ford (left) is con­grat­u­alted by team-mate Jesse Lin­gard af­ter scor­ing from the penalty spot dur­ing their English Pre­mier League match against Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur at Old Traf­ford on Wed­nes­day night.

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