Foreign managers 'don't understand Cup' - Mourinho
Jose Mourinho has suggested ahead of Manchester United's FA Cup tie with Blackburn Rovers tomorrow that some of his fellow foreign managers don't "understand the culture" of Britain and fail to treat the competition with the appropriate respect.
Mourinho, who expressed some doubt that Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick would be fit to return to the side for the game, said that there had been more upsets than usual in the competition this year "because of attitude" among the defeated bigger teams and that a better appreciation of British culture was necessary.
"Maybe we don't have as many English managers with that culture as we should," Mourinho said.
"Maybe we foreign managers, not everybody studies and understands the culture of this country. (The upsets are) because of attitude. Because you think it's easy but it's not. Also, the lower league teams are getting better and better."
Mourinho also stood accused of failing to afford the competition respect 12 years ago this month when, in his first season at Chelsea, he took the side to Newcastle and saw them lose 1-0 to an early Patrick Kluivert goal. The Magpies were in the Premier League but it still represented an upset.
"Yes, I threw it away," Mourinho reflected of that result. "In the same week was Champions League against Barcelona (a 1-0 defeat) and the (Carling Cup) final against Liverpool (a victory on penalties) and in the middle of it we had FA Cup against Newcastle and I threw it away, I gambled too much.
"I focused too much on Barcelona and Liverpool. We beat Barcelona and won the final against Liverpool. So it was good. But the feeling that I threw it away was not good.
"So I don't throw it away. If I lose, I lose because the opponent was better or because we didn't play well but I am not going to throw it away. The match at Newcastle. was a lesson."
Mourinho said he would change the make-up of the team from that one that defeated Saint Etienne 3-0 in the Europa League on Thursday, courtesy of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's first hat-trick for United.
He is hoping that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be fit, having missed Thursday's game with illness.
The outlook for Rooney and Carrick seemed more pessimistic.
United have comfortably seen off Championship opposition Reading and Wigan Athletic so far in their defence of the FA Cup and Blackburn also appear to be benign opposition.
Manager Owen Coyle's job is under threat, with the club's Indian owners considering his position after a slip to second bottom of the Championship on Tuesday night. Rovers were defeated at promotion-chasing Sheffield Wednesday.
Coyle, who took Bolton Wanderers to the 2011 semi -final at Wembley and saw them hammered 5-0 by Stoke City, says he has struggled to bring in the players he wants. (Independent News Service)