Sports

Jose slams his Red Devils

Mourinho rips into United players, saying they were playing a 'summer friendly'

GROUP A

FENERBAHCE 2
(Moussa Sow 2, Jeremain Lens 59)

MAN UNITED 1
(Wayne Rooney 89)

Jose Mourinho laid into his Manchester United players after they approached the Europa League Group A clash at Fenerbahce yesterday morning (Singapore time) like a "summer friendly".

A fortnight after comfortably overcoming the Istanbul giants 4-1 at Old Trafford, United received a rude awakening at the intimidating Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.

Moussa Sow's outrageous overhead kick after 65 seconds gave Fenerbahce a lead that Jeremain Lens, on loan from Sunderland, extended with a superb second-half free-kick.

Wayne Rooney's excellent goal pulled one back, but United could not silence the baying crowd as the hosts deservedly ran out 2-1 victors - a result that a fuming Mourinho could not argue with.

"Our problem started in our global attitude," he told BT Sport.

"They (Fenerbahce) were playing the Champions League final and we were playing a summer friendly.

"That is the reality of the way the game started."

It was quite a statement from the outspoken Portuguese, whose frustration at seeing his players ignore the pre-match advice was palpable.

"What disappointed me more is that I have quite a big experience of playing against Turkish teams," Mourinho, who lost Paul Pogba to injury after 30 minutes, added in the post-match press conference.

"I played twice with Real Madrid and twice with Chelsea, I played with Porto too, so I pass to the players all my experience.

"And my experience is that when you play against them in our home, it's easy. It's always 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, it's easy.

"You come to Turkey and it is completely different story, so I told them to wait for that, told them not to be focused on the easy game we had at Old Trafford and to be ready for a completely different game.

"We started the game sleeping. I know that we have a problem and, especially away from home, it's difficult to play without two proper central defenders.

"Football play starts with goalkeeper, two strong central defenders.

"We are playing with two left backs (Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo) as central defenders and poor Blind is even having to play central defender on the right, which is even more complicated.

"So I think at this moment we lack that structure there, but they start 100 miles per hour and we start really slowly.

"They had the kick-off, they go immediately, the referee gives a free-kick. They take the free-kick in a fast way, we are sleeping, we don't react.

"Then it's a ball in the other side, we lose the second ball. Then the cross is coming, we don't mark Sow in the box and then the game is a different story.

"Then they are where they want to be. They are in front, then they can control the game, they can defend with a lot of bodies, they can wait for counter-attacks.

"They can simulate a few fouls, put some pressure on the referee, stop the game, win time, provoke some conflicts.

"But it is not their fault, it is our fault that we let them be 1-0 in front.

"Then obviously when you are losing 2-0, the players had a reaction and they tried and probably they could (have equalised).

"But I think we don't deserve because for me, football is from the first second and Fenerbahce played an emotional game.

"Football is an emotional game and they deserved (to win)."

Mourinho also warned Henrikh Mkhitaryan to up his game after ending his 54-day exile in the defeat yesterday morning.

Mkhitaryan came on as a 61st-minute substitute, but his manager clearly expects more from the big-money summer signing.

It was the Armenian's first appearance since Sept 10 and Mourinho wants the former Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder to improve quickly.

"He has to do more, it is as simple as that," Mourinho said.

"We have big expectations in the club. We have lots of players for these positions and he has to play better than (Juan) Mata, he has to play better than (Jesse) Lingard, he has to play better than (Anthony) Martial. He has to play better than them.

"It is as simple as that. Every manager in the world wants to win matches. Every manager in the world wants to play the players he thinks can help the team more and I am no different."

Pogba's leg injury will be assessed ahead of tomorrow's match at Swansea, where Ander Herrera serves a suspension along with Mourinho himself.

The Portuguese is to serve a one-match touchline ban after being hit by a Football Association misconduct charge and admitting using abusive/and or insulting words towards a match official against Burnley.

Mourinho will be allowed to give his pre-match and half-time team talk in the Liberty Stadium dressing room tomorrow, as well as share messages with the United bench. - PA Sport.

Give Jose time to fix United, says Scholes

Paul Scholes feels Jose Mourinho may need up to four transfer windows to rectify Manchester United's problems after admitting to feeling "depressed" about the team's fortunes.

Scholes' old club were beaten again under Mourinho yesterday morning (Singapore time), losing 2-1 to Fenerbahce in the Europa League.

So far in his short reign, the problems encountered by predecessors Louis van Gaal and David Moyes are presenting themselves to the Portuguese.

But, while down about the present day, Scholes believes Mourinho will create an "unrecognisable" side in the future.

"We've had quite a painful three years and I think the next 18 months to two years could be very similar until this manager has three, four transfer windows to really get a team he wants," Scholes told BT Sport.

"This team in two years will be unrecognisable from what they are now.

"I've been depressed for a couple of years, it doesn't matter anymore.

"There are three or four better teams in the Premier League, we know this team are not capable of challenging for the Premier League.

"Whatever United do in the next 18 months is a bonus."

Scholes believes that United currently have issues to address at both ends of the field.

He added: "I think United have two main problems.

"They're struggling to score goals and to win games of football, with (Daley) Blind and (Marcus) Rojo at centre half, they almost need to score three goals, because they look like they're going to give goals away all the time.

"They don't sense danger, they've got no pace, they don't get physical against people and it's a worry because at the other end, they don't look like scoring goals.

"There's only so much the manager can do, they have to be ready and they obviously weren't tonight.

"They conceded that goal early on, you have to expect something like that in a way.

"United were rattled and couldn't handle it and they (Fenerbahce) bullied United and the two centre halves looked like they would concede goals all day long."

- PA Sport.

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