Tuesday 21 November 2017

Mourinho tells 'fragile' players to toughen up and learn to be winners

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: Getty Images
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: Getty Images

James Ducker

Jose Mourinho has delivered a blunt warning to the "fragile" players in his Manchester United squad by warning that they must toughen up if they want to retain his trust.

The United manager has also claimed he still feels like a "nobody" at Old Trafford in comparison to Alex Ferguson and Matt Busby but revealed that he plans to carry on coaching for another 15 years and is unafraid to keep ruffling feathers in the pursuit of success.

Mourinho won the 25th trophy of his managerial career when United beat Ajax 2-0 in the Europa League final in Stockholm on Wednesday to add to the League Cup and guarantee qualification for next season's Champions League.

But he has admitted he has difficulty understanding the mindset of players who do not share his fierce will to win and that he has to lean on his assistants for help dealing with those he is at risk of giving the cold shoulder to.

Mourinho's remarks, which came in an interview with Rio Ferdinand for a revealing BT Sport documentary, Old Trafford Uncovered, filmed before the Ajax game, appeared to be a thinly-veiled ultimatum to the likes of the Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling, all of whom he has clashed with this season.

Weakness

"For me what's more difficult is the fragile mentality," Mourinho said. "It's probably my weakness as a manager, that it's difficult for me to understand people with a different mentality to what I have. Sometimes I'm not able to feel attracted again (to the player).

"Sometimes I ask my assistants to help me on that because maybe they have a different profile to me. Because I want to be in love with the player with this character, with this personality and that kid Marcus (Rashford) is the best example of it in this club.

"Some of them, they can win a big match. What I think they can't do is win it and win it and win it and cope with that mental intensity, the focus, the concentration, the responsibility, the determination."

Now 54, Mourinho said he plans to manage until close 70 and is eager to carve a slice of history for himself at United.

"If I finish my career tomorrow I should be very happy with my experience but the problem is my career just reached the halfway stage. I have 15 more years," he said.

"But in this club it makes me feel that I did nothing, especially because you have two legends in terms of titles and trophies. I feel that I am nobody. I always have to prove." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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