'I don't want to update you' - Jose Mourinho vents his anger at Manchester United's own TV station
Jose Mourinho criticised Manchester United's own television station yesterday as the embattled manager showed fresh signs of strain ahead of tonight's crucial clash against Arsenal.
Mourinho is facing a defensive crisis ahead of the visit of Unai Emery's side to Old Trafford and took exception to being asked an innocuous question by an MUTV presenter about his depleted resources.
"I don't want to update you, I would like Arsenal TV to ask the same questions but they don't. They hide everything from the inside, so why should I answer to you," Mourinho snapped in an apparent reference to last season when Mesut Ozil faced United despite Arsenal's suggestions that the German playmaker would not be fit.
United will fall 11 points behind fourth placed Arsenal if they lose as the pressure mounts on Mourinho.
But while Mourinho retracted his claim that his side need "a miracle" to finish in the top four, he refused to make any predictions beyond saying he was confident they would finish above an Everton team he was at pains to cite as an example of "phenomenal investment".
United are currently seventh, behind Everton on goal difference.
Mourinho refused to respond to reports he had branded midfielder Paul Pogba a "virus" in the dressing room after United's 2-2 draw at Southampton last Saturday and, asked if he believed his squad were still behind him, he claimed only "dishonest" players would not pull for their manager.
"If you think a player only plays when, in your words, he is behind the manager, what I have to call these players or, in this case, what you are calling them, is dishonest," he said.
"A football player is paid - and very well paid - to be a football professional. What is that? It is to train every day to his limits, to play every game to his limits, to behave socially according to the nature of his job, to respect the millions of fans around the world and to respect the hierarchies in the club.
"If you say that a player plays well or bad because of how good a manager is, you are calling the player dishonest."
Mourinho said he would have to hold off naming his side to face Arsenal until two or three hours before kick-off - as he did against Southampton - in a bid to give as many players as possible a chance to prove their fitness.
Marcos Rojo, Diogo Dalot and Matteo Darmian are United's only defenders certain of being in contention ( © Daily Telegraph, London).
Manchester United v Arsenal, Live, BT Sport 1, 8.0