Jose Mourinho hits out at 'obsessed' pundits in four-minute defence of the way he uses Marcus Rashford
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has offered up a passionate defence of his use of young striker Marcus Rashford, after he scored in back-to-back games for England in the last week.
Rashford has often been used as a substitute by Mourinho since he took over as United boss in the summer of 2016 and he has insisted the development path he has followed for the 20-year-old striker has helped his progress.
Rashford may not be a starter for United when they play Watford on Saturday in the Premier League and Mourinho predicts that decision will be met with hostility.
"Speaking about Marcus, I think I can expect that Sunday I’m going to be highly criticised for not playing him tomorrow," he said in a four-minute response.
"Some of the boys are really obsessed with me and some of them have a problem I think with some compulsive lies so I can expect that Sunday some of them will wake up in the morning as always the first thing they think that comes to their minds is Jose Mourinho.
"So I can imagine on Sunday I am going to be criticised for not playing Marcus but it is not my fault. He’s suspended so probably you should remind them he is suspended and cannot play.
"Performances with England of course I’m happy. He played well, competed well, he scored and especially in a period where he comes with some sadness after his suspension and was very good that he did that.
"For the Manchester United supporters, it is important they have the right idea. Since I was here, he was never one day out of selection because of my decision or because he was injured or suspended, he was never, never out of a selection.
"So he knows and that’s the most important thing, but the media is very important and is very important Manchester United supporters know the truth."
Sky Sport pundit Jamie Carragher begs to differ as he believes Rashford should leave United in a bid to develop into a top player and Mourinho had clearly prepped himself for questions about his young forward as he then proceeded to offer up a full run-down of his playing time since he took over at Old Trafford.
"If you don’t mind to lose a couple of minutes with me I’m going to do something not for you but the United fans because I think I hold myself to the United fans and for them I am going to spend two minutes with you," he continued.
"On the season 16-17, Marcus Rashford played 32 Premier League matches, 11 Europa League matches, including the final, three FA Cup matches, six League Cup matches, including the final, and the Community Shields.
"He had 53 appearances but if you want to take to the mins of play, he played 3,068 minutes and if you wan to divide that by 90 minutes of the matches, he played 34.2 matches of 90 min matches in 16-17.
"In 17-18, he played 35 matches in the Premier League, eight in the Champions League, five in the FA Cup, including the final, three LC matches and the European Super Cup . He played a total of 52 matches with 2,676 mins, if you divide that by 90, gives 29.7 matches. So with me, in two seasons, he had 105 appearances, 5774 mins, 63.7 matches of 90 mins, including five finals, so the people that is speaking about these minutes, I think they are a bit confused,
"Marcus Rashford is not Dominic Solanke, not Ruben Loftus-Cheek not Dominic Calvert Lewin, is Marcus Rashford, Man United player, with an incredible number of appearances and an incredible number of mins played at the highest level in the best possible competitions.
"So Manchester United supporters, for you and just for you, to know what we are doing with Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard, Scott McTominay, that’s what we are doing here."
Mourinho went on to suggest some are 'obsessed' with him an United, as he argued his club get too much attention in the media.
"The ones that wake up in the morning and the first thing that comes into their mind is Jose Mourinho, Manchester United, I feel sorry for them because there are much more interesting things than us and football," he added.