Sunday 25 August 2019

Jose Mourinho hails 'fantastic' attitude of Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho saw his team sneak a narrow win over Brighton
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho saw his team sneak a narrow win over Brighton

Jose Mourinho does not care if Romelu Lukaku fails to score because in his eyes the Manchester United striker always gives his all - unlike some players.

The 24-year-old endured another frustrating afternoon on Saturday when United's eked out a 1-0 win against promoted Brighton as Ashley Young's strike looped in off Lewis Dunk.

Lukaku has mustered just one goal in his last 10 matches for United, following an impressive start to life at Old Trafford, yet Mourinho will not criticise the striker.

The United boss is in awe of the Belgium international's relentless drive, which he believes puts other similarly talented players to shame.

"In the last minute he was fighting and running back like he was in the first minute, so I think it is also a mentality question," Mourinho said of Lukaku.

It remains to be seen whether Lukaku's kick at Gaeten Bong just before the goal draws the interest of the Football Association.

But Mourinho had no concern about the former Everton player's desire.

"The way Romelu wins the corner for the goal, the way Romelu ends the game making tackles in the left-back position, that is the mentality I want," Mourinho said.

"And, unfortunately, not every player is the same. Players are men, men are different. Men are unique cases.

"Some guys are capable to go into the limits of their efforts and some other guys even with a lot of talent, they don't manage to do that.

"So Romelu, for me, fantastic. Didn't score, I don't care."

Mourinho has publicly questioned the mentality of some players during his time at United, but his frustrations have not been restricted to players.

The Portuguese has recently taken umbrage with United fans, having been unhappy with their support of Lukaku against Tottenham and some general impatience in the stands.

"Honestly, it is quite a surprise for me but I think the supporters were fantastic," Mourinho said after the Brighton game.

"We had matches at home where we played really, really well and they were a bit soft.

"And today they were behind the team. The team was not playing well, the team was 0-0, they support the team, they support the players.

"Then in the last part of the game, at home at Old Trafford we had problems against Brighton, a newly promoted team, and the supporters were behind the team.

"They support the team, they support the players, so also really happy with them."

United and their fans head to Watford on Tuesday night - the same night that Brighton host bitter rivals Crystal Palace.

It is a match Chris Hughton's men approach buoyed by a positive display at Old Trafford, despite their five-match unbeaten run coming to a halt.

"Obviously (we have) the derby coming up," Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan said. "It's pretty special.

"In derbies, the form sort of goes out of the window so we're not going to be getting complacent by seeing that they're down, coming last and having a difficult season.

"That all goes out the window. It's an extra special one, one for the fans as well. A lot of bragging rights around it and whatnot.

"We'll go out and recover from this one, prepare for that and hopefully we can get back to winning ways at home."

PA Media

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