Saturday 24 February 2018

'Dangerous' Jose Mourinho at risk of unsettling Manchester United changing room, warns Rio Ferdinand

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

Samuel Lovett

Jose Mourinho is at risk of unsettling the Manchester United changing room with his "dangerous" public criticisms, former club defender Rio Ferdinand has warned.

This follows what has been an outspoken week for the Portuguese, who singled out Luke Shaw for his ‘commitment issues’ before expressing his dissatisfaction with Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s “disappointing” performance against West Brom.

Mourinho has a habit of naming and shaming his players in public but has rarely failed to generate a positive response, as was the case with United’s 1-1 draw with Everton on Tuesday night – their ninth home draw of the season.

Speaking after the game, in which a late Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty goal salvaged a point for United, Ferdinand expressed his apprehensions over Mourinho’s man management.

“When a manager goes public it’s a dangerous thing," he told BT Sport. “You’re not winning, so there’s a chance the changing room could react in a negative way.”

Such an approach backfired in spectacular fashion during his second spell at Stamford Bridge. After a difficult start to the 2015/16 season, Mourinho’s relationship with his changing room deteriorated culminating in his eventual dismissal prior to Christmas.

United’s latest draw leaves them four points off rivals City, with nine games left to play. Despite remaining unbeaten in their last 20 league games, Mourinho’s side seem paralysed by inertia and the Portuguese admitted after Tuesday’s game that his men are suffering from a lack of confidence.

"I could feel some of the boys a bit in trouble by the confidence levels,” he said.

"When the confidence levels are not high the quality of the performance is not easy to improve so we had to go through a short cut.

"We started playing in a way where we don't feel so much the lack of confidence of some of the boys, so we start playing more direct.

"We tried everything and in the end the goal arrived. From the points point of view it is not that important - zero or one doesn't make a huge difference - but it is a good feeling for the boys not to lose."

Independent News Service

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