Sunday 18 March 2018

Swansea boss Bob Bradley aims to find best side to beat "gracious" Jose Mourinho

Swansea boss Bob Bradley says he has seen a softer side of Jose Mourinho when he has met the Manchester United manager
Swansea boss Bob Bradley says he has seen a softer side of Jose Mourinho when he has met the Manchester United manager

Swansea boss Bob Bradley aims to pile the pressure on "gracious" Jose Mourinho at the end of a troubled week for the Manchester United manager.

Mourinho will watch United's Premier League game at Swansea on Sunday in the stands after being given a one-game touchline ban.

It has been a desperate week for Mourinho who accepted two Football Association misconduct charges - one of which was using abusive/and or insulting words towards a match official in United's goalless home draw against Burnley last weekend - and then criticised his players following their timid 2-1 Europa League defeat to Fenerbahce on Thursday.

But Bradley says he saw a different side of Mourinho when he was the manager of the United States national team between 2006 and 2011 and during their relationship since.

"I've talked to him on the phone and traded some messages with him in the last year. We have some common friends," Bradley said.

"He's been in the United States a lot with teams in pre-season and in many of those situations I've had a chance to see his teams train.

"He's always been gracious in those moments."

Bradley also recalled how an act of Mourinho kindness on one of those pre-season tours struck a special chord with him.

"When he was at Inter Milan and Real Madrid my eldest daughter Kerry was handling some of the administrative details for those teams," Bradley said.

"I was standing quietly at training there one day when he comes straight across the field.

"He started talking about the US and how we had played well in the World Cup. I remember him saying sometimes you need a bit of luck and that you should be proud.

"Then he hesitated and goes: 'And your daughter is a great girl'. She had done a bit of work around the team and he knew, from one father to another, that I would appreciate that.

"And I did. It shows you what kind of guy he is."

Bradley has yet to taste victory at the Liberty Stadium, drawing one and losing two of this three games in charge as Swansea have slipped into the relegation zone.

And the American appears to have plenty in common with Mourinho right now with both Swansea and United short of goals and neither manager seemingly settled on their best team.

On United, Bradley said: "Maybe they haven't completely found their best team.

"They have a lot of talent, but trying to find a balance in the team is what every manager in the world looks for."

Bradley made five changes after his first game at Arsenal and then another three for Monday night's 3-1 defeat at Stoke.

That loss which, in truth should have been heavier, exposed the defensive shortcomings of a side which has not won since the opening day in August.

"No, I don't know my best XI," said Bradley said. "It's something I'm trying to figure out every day.

"You look every day in training at different combinations; in terms of tactics, it's not pulling out something totally different every time.

" In the midst of that and looking hard at the games played thus far, we're still trying to find our best and most consistent group and those discussions are absolutely ongoing.

"It might take a long time, but hopefully we will (find it) on Sunday."

Press Association

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