Football

Jose wants more goals

Mourinho says United should be scoring more with their brand of football

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ZORYA LUHANSK MAN UNITED
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Jose Mourinho needs more goals from Wayne Rooney and the rest of his attackers if Manchester United's Premier League campaign is to be revived.

The positives of progress to the Europa League knockout stages and League Cup semi-finals have been tempered somewhat by their league frustrations.

Mourinho's men sit an eye-watering 13 points off the lead and nine behind the top four just 14 matches into the season.

A lack of cutting edge has been key, managing just seven goals in their last eight league matches - as many as Alexis Sanchez has scored for Arsenal on his own during that period.

PLEASED

Mourinho has been pleased with his side's displays, but is well aware of the missing ingredient, highlighted by Rooney managing a solitary Premier League goal this term.

"To me, he is an attacking player," the United boss said of his skipper, whose only goal came on the opening day at Bournemouth.

"In the national team, they can do with him what they want to do.

We expect more goals from him (Rooney), yes, but we expect more goals 
from everyone. Jose Mourinho

"In the national team, he is their player, he is not my player, and they can do what they want.

"If they want to play him right back, they can play him right back. It's not my problem.

"In my team, he is an attacking player - he will play as a No. 9 or a No. 10, or eventually coming from one of the sides.

"So as an attacking player, normally he scores more goals.

"He scored a couple, I think at Fenerbahce and one in the Premier League.

"We expect more goals from him, yes, but we expect more goals from everyone in the team.

"Maybe Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) is the one but, as the main striker, it is normal that he has more goals scored.

"But all the other attacking players, we expect more goals from them."

Anthony Martial has managed just one league goal, while Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford's three-goal hauls make them the next top scorers behind Ibrahimovic. The veteran Swede netted a seventh goal in six matches in all competitions as United reached the Europa League last 32 with a 2-0 win at Zorya Luhansk yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Ibrahimovic wrapped up victory in a way the team have been unable to in the league - showing a clinical edge that will be key tomorrow against a Tottenham side boasting the league's tightest defence.

"We are not scoring enough goals for the football we play," said Mourinho.

"We can say that tonight I don't remember their goalkeeper made a lot of saves. I don't think he made any phenomenal saves.

"When we play against other teams in the Premier League, normally they are the man of the match. They save everything.

"Goals make a huge difference so we need to score more goals."

Mourinho also praised Henrikh Mkhitaryan's determination to impress, improve and influence after his fine solo goal against Zorya.

"He fought to improve tactically, he fought to improve physically, and now he is playing good in the Premier League, good in the Europa League and the League Cup, and now evolving a bit more happiness for him, so I'm very pleased," said Mourinho. - PA SPORT

WHO'S THROUGH

Fenerbahce, Man United, APOEL Nicosia, Olympiakos, Saint-Etienne, Anderlecht, Zenit St Petersburg, AZ Alkmaar, Roma, FC Astra, Athletic Bilbao, RC Genk, Ajax, Celta Vigo, Shakhtar Donetsk, Gent, Schalke, FK Krasnodar, Fiorentina, PAOK, Sparta Prague, Hapoel Beer Sheva, Osmanlispor, Villarreal.

  • The top two in each group, as well as eight third-placed teams from Champions League group stage, qualify for the last 32.
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