Football

Red Devils boss risking a dressing room revolt: Given

Shay Given believes some Manchester United players could revolt against their boss Jose Mourinho, who questioned the personality, class and desire of his team, after a 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Brighton and Hove Albion yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Just 24 hours after the United manager had made a memorable defence of his own record in the pre-match press conference, Mourinho turned his attention to his players after reaching the FA Cup semi-finals.

Only goalscorers Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku were spared stinging criticism.

"I didn't like the game. I think we deserved to win but I didn't have the reaction from all of them," Mourinho was quoted by AFP as saying.

"I had the reaction from some of them.

"Some of them were mentally strong enough with the football quality to play - that was the reason we won.

"But a team of 11, when you have a minimum of six or seven players performing and wanting to play, who want the responsibility to have the ball, who have the desire really to play - it is difficult to have a good performance...

"I wanted more personality in the team because many, many times I felt that Matic was an island of personality, desire and control surrounded by lack of personality, lack of class and lack of desire."

Former Ireland and Newcastle United goalkeeper Given has suggested that Mourinho's comments could lose him part of the dressing room.

He said on the BBC: "Well you hope they'll respond, but some players could go, 'I'm not having that'.

"It's very negative. There's no desire, they're mentally weak some of them, he said.

"Matic is very strong but the people around him are weak.

"Mourinho for whatever reason is having a go at pundits, probably me and you tomorrow, Martin (Keown)."

One pundit Mourinho has regularly clashed with, Paul Scholes, believes Mourinho's rant came after the wrong match.

He said on BT Sport: "It's probably the worst thing you can feel as a player if your desire is being questioned, if your confidence has gone so much that you're hiding behind players.

"I don't think I saw a lot of that tonight.

"I saw a lot of it on Tuesday night - it seemed like this interview should have been after Tuesday night, not tonight."

Football