Thursday 22 February 2018

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho claims to be victim of his own success amid latest criticism

Jose Mourinho takes his team to Huddersfield this weekend
Jose Mourinho takes his team to Huddersfield this weekend

Ian Whittell

At the end of a week in which he has found himself widely criticised for his supposedly negative tactical approach, Jose Mourinho responded when he claimed that he is judged by different standards to the rest of the Premier League’s managers.

Mourinho takes Manchester United to Huddersfield today having been pilloried for his approach to last week’s goalless draw at Anfield which also saw him the subject of unfavourable comparisons to the swashbuckling Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

But after a midweek Champions League win at Benfica stretched United’s run to 12 unbeaten games since the start of the season, Mourinho feels he has become a victim of his own success.

“I think it’s my fault, because people are used to my teams getting good results and winning titles,” said Mourinho.

“Other people have more time than I have. Other people have different standards than I have and that’s not a problem for me at all.

“We are going to lose matches, that’s obvious, and I can imagine we are going to have even more criticism than we have now.

“But honestly, no problem. It’s not a motivation. It doesn’t change my mind or my stability. We work hard, we try to do the best we can and get the best possible results.

“In relation to the last match, speaking about the Champions League I would like to know - because I don’t know - when United last won two consecutive matches away?

“I would like to know the last time United won nine points from three matches in the Champions League? We are doing okay.”

Mourinho’s public relations problems extended to his relationship with Antonio Conte this week after his comments that certain managers complain about injuries to key players were relayed to the Chelsea man who responded angrily.

“I don’t speak to him. I don’t know why he speaks to me. That’s no problem,” said Mourinho.

“Maybe it’s not his fault. Maybe it’s the journalists’ fault when probably they’ve passed him a wrong message.

“I know what I said after the match, which is the reality. There are managers all over the world that, by philosophy, they prefer to speak about injuries, prefer to try to find excuses of a hypothetical failure based on injuries.

“I moan and cry about other things. I moan about the fixtures, moan about no time to rest. I moan about why I don’t understand why we play Saturday after Wednesday when we should play Sunday.

“I moan about this all the time but not about injuries. When managers say I moan about the fixtures then he is right but nobody can say I moan about injuries.”

Meanwhile, veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic continues his recovery from surgery on a knee ligament injury and is expected to return before the end of the calendar year.

But Mourinho’s other long-term injury victim Paul Pogba is currently recuperating from a hamstring injury in Florida with Mourinho claiming he does not even know why the French international is in the United States, rather than Manchester, with that decision apparently having been taken by club doctor Steve McNally.

Mourinho said: “You will have to ask Dr McNally. He is responsible for that. I’m in control of the players who are available.

“I’m not happy or unhappy. It’s not my responsibility.

“Paul is not here, I don't know when he comes back, when he's available, I've no idea.

“Zlatan is here, he's working here, under our control, he's working so, so, so, so hard but he's not to be back in the next week or couple of weeks, let him take his time and be back when everyone feels is the right moment.

“Do I think he will be back in 2017? Yes I do. But it is just a feeling.”

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport