Jose Mourinho has apologised to Manchester United fans in his programme notes for tonight's derby meeting with City in the EFL Cup following Sunday's chastening 4-0 defeat to Chelsea.
The United boss is coming under increasing pressure after the highly defensive tactics deployed against Liverpool and the humiliation at Stamford Bridge.
Writing in his programme notes, Mourinho said: "As the leader of this squad I want to start by saying sorry to all the Manchester United fans around the world. Sunday's 4-0 defeat at Chelsea was not a United result; it was a result that has made us all extremely sorry for all our supporters and we apologise for it.
"Once again at Stamford Bridge our fans were sensational. I cannot think of another set of supporters who would be singing for 90 minutes like that when their team was losing. They were a credit to the club and I feel so sorry for them that the result could not match their performance.
"Even in the best periods of the club's history there have been heavy defeats - I have beaten United 3-0 as a manager and 3-1 twice - but we all know that we cannot accept result like the one we had on Sunday. There is only one way I know to react to this kind of result and that is with hard work.
"Tonight we play against another top team as we welcome Manchester City to Old Trafford. I can say for sure that they are also unhappy with their current situation, having suffered their own 4-0 defeat in Barcelona a week ago and coming into tonight's game without a win in five games, but that does not change the fact that they are a very good team with a very good manager and very good, experienced players.
"We have our problems and the biggest one of all is that Eric Bailly suffered an injury at Chelsea which will force him to miss many matches. Eric has started his first season at United very well indeed and it is a real shame for him and for us that he will now be on the sidelines. The same applies to Phil Jones, who is in the same situation.
"But while it is sad news for Eric, we have a big match tonight which has to demand our full focus. Cup matches are great, they always guarantee a super atmosphere and I know that will especially be the case against our city rivals tonight.
"I will be there with you all on the touchline and together we will all support and push our players to give the 101 per cent effort required in this kind of match."
More to follow
Pep Guardiola is ready to hand Manchester City’s youngsters the chance to deepen Jose Mourinho’s misery at Manchester United by resting his senior players in tonight’s (Weds) EFL Cup tie at Old Trafford.
Mauricio Pochettino condemned Jurgen Klopp’s touchline behaviour and insisted Liverpool should have been reduced to ten men as Daniel Sturridge’s double consigned Tottenham to defeat in the EFL Cup.