Football

Mourinho blasts players again

In a possible dig at Smalling and Shaw, 
United boss calls for need to play through pain

Alex Ferguson would only do it if he felt it was what was required to improve fortunes, and all those associated with Manchester United must hope Jose Mourinho knows what he's doing.

Once again, the United boss has publicly criticised his players, claiming he fears they might not have the right attitude to guide the team back into the Premier League title race.

Mourinho saw first-half goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic (two) and Paul Pogba help United to only a second league victory in eight games as his side cruised to a 3-1 success at Swansea on Sunday.

Before the game he revealed: "Chris Smalling doesn't feel he can play 100 per cent with his pain and Luke Shaw this morning told me he was not in condition to play."

And perhaps directing his ire at the duo, he said after the match: "There is a difference between the brave, who want to be there at any cost, and the ones for whom a little pain can make a difference.

"Of course, it is not just the players, it is the players and the people that surround the players."

Mourinho spoke about the need for players to play through the injury pain barrier.

"We have players with problems, but we also have players on the pitch who have problems," he said.

"And that is what I mean, because in every sport, and I know that because I have friends from other sports, playing at the highest level. How many times do they play when they are not 100 per cent?

"I have a friend who is a big tennis player and he tells me that he remembers more times when he has played with pain than the times he has played without any pain. To compete, you have to work to the limits.

"It is a cultural thing, for some. That's not my culture."

Asked if players needed to change to play for him, Mourinho said; "Exactly, but more than me, Man United. More than me, Man United."

Despite Mourinho's blast, he could have no complaints about the overall United performance.

"After the draw against Burnley, we needed points," he said.

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"We put in a great performance against Burnley, but came away with only one point. We needed three points today, more than the performance. But we got both.

"Zlatan does not lack confidence. I used to say that a striker who doesn't score goals and does nothing else, means you have one player less.

"A striker who doesn't score goals, but does everything else, is a very important player for the team. When Zlatan was not scoring goals, he was doing everything else.

"He was working defensively, he was working in the build-up, he was giving assists and he was contributing towards the fact that the goalkeepers who played against us were the Man of the Match.

"So, he was doing so many things that I was not worried. Today, we needed goals to win and we got them."

While Ibrahimovic was calling the tune in the final third, it was veteran Michael Carrick who was dictating the pace of the game in front of his back four.

Mourinho added; "I would love Michael to play every game, but that is not possible.

"He can't play in every game for the same reason I can no longer go to the gym every day. But he started today and he played very, very well."

- AFP.


“I have a friend who is a big tennis player and he tells me that he remembers more times when he has played with pain than the times he has played without any pain. To compete, you have to work to the limits.”

— Man United manager Jose Mourinho in an apparent dig at Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw, who opted out of the Swansea game

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