Jose Mourinho hits out at critics of his Manchester United side
Jose Mourinho believes his Manchester United side are being judged by different standards to other teams.
Manager Mourinho has come in for criticism for the style of United’s play in recent performances, particularly the goalless draw with Liverpool and narrow wins over Benfica and Tottenham.
Writing in his programme notes for Tuesday’s return clash with Benfica at Old Trafford, Mourinho addressed a pointed remark at fans, saying: “I hope that you enjoy the game more than some of you did against Tottenham.”
At his press conference ahead of Sunday’s trip to Chelsea, Mourinho weighed in on the subject again, although he insisted he did not want to stoke any more fires.
“I don’t want to comment,” said the Red Devils boss. “Sometimes I feel I could or I should but other times I cool down and think I shouldn’t and I’m not going to.
“I know it’s a different way of analysing things for this reason or that reason. Similar performances for some clubs are magic, are examples of brilliant tactics and amazing attitude of the players, and for other teams the same kind of performance becomes conservative, negative, so many adjectives.
“Tottenham beat Liverpool 4-1, Tottenham beat Real Madrid 3-1, Tottenham didn’t score against Manchester United. At least a little bit of credit my players deserve.”
Mourinho was prompted to hold his press conference a day earlier than normal because he is scheduled to face accusations of tax fraud in Spain on Friday.
The Spanish authorities opened a case against the 54-year-old in June for alleged tax evasion during his spell as Real Madrid boss. His representatives said in June that Mourinho had fulfilled all his tax obligations in Spain.
Mourinho insisted it would not be a disruption ahead of one of the biggest games in the season, saying: “It’s just a change of normal training time because I cannot be (here) in the morning.”
Mourinho will make his fourth trip back to Stamford Bridge as an opposition manager, having previously faced his old club once with Inter Milan and twice last season with United.
Neither trip last term was a happy occasion for United, with Chelsea racing to a 4-0 win in the Premier League and also winning 1-0 in the FA Cup.
Mourinho said: “I have to admit it’s a little bit different but in the end I want to win like I did with Inter. They want to win like they did last season and it’s just one more day.
“In a couple of years it will be even more natural and in four or five years probably no one will remember that I was Chelsea manager and it becomes absolutely normal.
“It isn’t a big thing. It’s normal, it’s football, it’s professionalism. One day you are in one club, the next day you’re in another club.
“It’s a big thing because it’s a big match, because it’s a big opponent, because it’s the champions. It’s one of these matches between the top teams in the country. But from the emotional point of view, it’s just one more game.”
Mourinho is not expecting any of his injured players to be available on Sunday, although he has not totally ruled out the possibility.
“We have to wait a little bit, we still have Friday and Saturday,” he said. “I’m not very optimistic but I don’t want to lie.”