Friday 23 February 2018

Jose Mourinho pulls out of his first Old Trafford appearance since becoming Man United boss

New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

Jack de Menezes

Jose Mourinho has pulled out of his first match at Old Trafford after deciding against managing an England XI during this weekend’s Soccer Aid charity match at the home of Manchester United.

Old Trafford will stage the Unicef match between and England side and a Rest of the World XI, managed by Premier League title-winning manager Claudio Ranieri. Mourinho was due to take charge of the England team, having agreed to the match before he was named Manchester United manager last Friday, but it now appears that he has had a change of heart.

According to The Sun, Mourinho will still train the side at a charity event in Fulham on Thursday and Friday, but he will not appear in the dugout during the match on Sunday  as he wants to concentrate on his new duties at United, and believes that the focus should be on the charity match itself and not his presence.

United have not pressured Mourinho into the decision after allowing him to make his own mind up, but the Portuguese is understood to be focused on the task at hand in succeeding Louis van Gaal and trying to get United back into the Champions League as well as challenge for the Premier League title next season.

Mourinho is also pressing on with the club’s transfer plans, although executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is expected to front the club’s business this summer as Mourinho goes about trying to strengthen the squad.

The former Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Porto manager returned to his homeland this week to give a lecture in Lisbon on high performance football coaching at the Faculdade de Motricidade Humana [Faculty of Human Kinetics] University, where he posed for a picture with the class and uploaded it to his new Instagram account.

Back to university in Lisbon FMH Master in Football

A photo posted by Jose Mourinho (@josemourinho) on

With Mourinho now unavailable for Sunday’s match, Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce his poised to step up from his role as Mourinho’s assistant, with the likes of Jamie Carragher, Jermain Defoe and Robbie Fowler all part of the England squad for Sunday’s match.

Mourinho’s first match in charge of United is scheduled for 22 July against Borussia Dortmund as part of their Asia pre-season tour, where they take on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side three days later.

Independent News Service

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