Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has singled out two Manchester United players for praise ahead of his side's clash against Fulham.
The training session at 11 o’clock will give us some answers, Smalling, Jones, Martial, Bailly, of course, Lindelof and Alexis we don’t even speak about. But we need answers, and for sure we’re going to play with players, not with the maximum of their potential, but players who will make themselves available for the team like Smalling did last match, players in difficulty who go one step forward to try and help the team.
Mourinho on Fred
Step by step. You have other players at other clubs who needed time and some of them played even less than Fred. I think Fred when the team is defensively stronger and doesn’t need in midfield people that are more worried in giving some balance to the team than being involved in the creation and the attacking dynamic, the day we are stronger defensively, I think the horizons for Fred change completely.
On last season
I am saying a team an finish 10th and the manager feels like a champion. Correct? If you speak with David Wagner, Rafa Benitez, Claudio, if you speak with them you tell them you are going to finish 10th they will feel like champions. I made a fantastic job, I stayed in front of many teams with more potential than my team. It is as simple as that.
Praise for Herrera and Rashford
You know there are special players with special characteristics. Just to give you a couple of examples, Herrera, Rashford, they are the kind of players that even if their game was not phenomenal, that intensity, that desire, that passion, that sacrifice is always present. But I prefer to say the team, as a team, had that mentality and we have to transport it to this game.
On Arsenal clash
Even the numbers, the stats that for me are not fundamental but sometimes they give us, they support our feelings, they support our ideas, or sometimes a contradiction to it but in this case I think it is just a confirmation with the numbers was the match where my team the globality of the 10 players run more and run more with higher intensity too. We press the ball more, put difficulties to the opponent, we were fast in our transitions, so we had that spirit, we had that mentality that brought our game to a good level, to a better level.
On Fulham clash
Fulham are in the same situation as us [needing points] but probably the way they are coming to play - or try to play - will not demand as much from them like us,” said Mourinho. But no excuses. I sat here a few weeks ago speaking about December and no defeats - that’s a reality. Good fights, good spirit, but just one victory, against Young Boys, and three draws, and we need points. I want to be positive and think we are going to win, but if we don’t, give credit to the people that deserve credit. The game is not going to be 11 against zero, it’s going to be 11 against 11. They have one of the two most important managers in the history of the Premier League [in Ranieri], so they have the potential to come here tomorrow and to give us a very difficult match.”Fulham are in the same situation as us [needing points] but probably the way they are coming to play - or try to play - will not demand as much from them as us.