Jose Mourinho has admitted ‘nobody is happy’ among his Manchester United squad as he faces a trial by television against Tottenham on Monday.
Mourinho is expected to receive backing from a full house at Old Trafford as United attempt to recover from last Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at Brighton with a huge game in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
There has been plenty of soul-searching inside United over the past week, with Mourinho denying a rift with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and club legends Gary Neville and Paul Scholes publicly criticising Woodward and record signing Paul Pogba.
‘I think nobody is happy, obviously,’ said Mourinho when asked about his players’ reaction to defeat on the south coast. ‘I have enough experience to know that in football you can’t look back at good or bad results; you always have to look to the next one. Especially after a negative result, what you want is to play again.’
Mourinho is already under pressure two games into the season after complaining about a lack of signings during the summer including England defender Harry Maguire.
With Woodward and the Glazer family even more unpopular among United diehards, Mourinho will be given a chance to turn things around against Spurs and he has ordered his team to avoid any errors against another of the Premier League’s Big Six.
‘Against Leicester, we didn’t make mistakes and won. Against Brighton, we made mistakes and we paid for them. I think you look at football in a pragmatic way, normally you get what you deserve. So if you want to win against a big team, you can not make mistakes.’
Antonio Valencia is expected to return and take the captain’s armband from Pogba after the French World Cup winner acknowledged his attitude was wrong at Brighton.
Mourinho and Pogba have had a strained relationship for some time but United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney believes it’s up to the player to find his best form.
‘You hear a lot of people saying Jose Mourinho needs to get the best out of him but he needs to do it for himself and prove he’s at that level to help Man United,’ Rooney told CNN.
The MLS-based star added: ‘Surrounding him is a lot of publicity. If Jose can get the best out of Paul this season, that will be a huge plus for United and a step in the right direction of winning the title.If they’re going to win the title, he’ll be the main player in terms of them doing that.’
Chris Smalling may return to the centre of defence after the Eric Bailly-Victor Lindelof partnership was torn apart at Brighton.