Thursday 19 September 2019

'Stay at home and watch on TV' - Jose Mourinho's blunt advice for his players if they are feeling the pressure

Jose Mourinho questioned the heart of his players after Saturday's draw against Crystal Palace (Martin Rickett/PA)
Jose Mourinho questioned the heart of his players after Saturday's draw against Crystal Palace (Martin Rickett/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has offered up some blunt advice for his players amid suggestions that some are struggling to cope with the pressures of playing at Old Trafford.

United have struggled to hit top gear in front of their home fans this season, yet Mourinho insists players who lack the stomach to handle the pressure on home soil should not go looking for excuses.

When asked whether his players are more comfortable playing away from home ahead of Tuesday's Champions League game against Young Boys, he offered up this feisty response.

"I refuse to say that," said the United boss. "I think it would be a lack of respect to the stadium and to the fans to say we prefer to play away from home, than to play at home. I totally refuse to say that.

"If you ask me do I prefer to play tomorrow at Young Boys here or go again to Bern I would say immediately to play at home. Always. I always prefer to play at home.

"If you feel pressure stay at home but when I say home I don't say stadium home, I say home home, and watch on tv. If you feel pressure to play matches at home when the people come to support, come on. I don't feel pressure to play at home.

"What I want is a team to start strong, not to be waiting. Probably you thought Jose told them to start slow. It is exactly the opposite. I want them to start strong and go for it almost immediately."

Mourinho was also asked about comments he made in an interview with a South American TV channel, as he suggested some of his young players lacked the heart to perform at the highest level.

"I don't want to answer to it," Mourinho added. "When I sometimes try to answer and explain then I'm criticised because I explain it, so I prefer not to do it.

"I would prefer to speak about tomorrow and not the past. And when I am open to you and try to analyse things with you and when I try to be honest with you, there are always the illuminated who like to criticise. So I think is better not to say too much."

Mourinho also confirmed defender Victor Lindelof is set for an extended spell on the sidelines with what he described as 'a proper injury'.

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