I'm judged harshly because of success - Mourinho

Saturday October 21 2017

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho smiles during their Uefa Champions League Group A match against SL Benfica at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on October 18, 2017. PHOTO | PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA |

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho smiles during their Uefa Champions League Group A match against SL Benfica at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on October 18, 2017. PHOTO | PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA |  AFP

By AFP
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MANCHESTER

Jose Mourinho says he is judged by a different set of standards from his rival managers in the Premier League because of his previous successes but insists that criticism does not upset him.

The Manchester United manager was widely criticised for his approach in grinding out a goalless draw against Liverpool at Anfield last weekend.

The approach was compared, unfavourably, with that of Pep Guardiola, whose league leaders Manchester City have been playing a scintillating brand of football, beating Stoke 7-2 on the same day.

But a midweek Champions League win at Benfica stretched United's unbeaten start to the campaign to a dozen games, 10 of them victories, and Mourinho, whose side had been scoring freely before the Liverpool match, believes he has become a victim of his own success.

"I think it's my fault, because people are used to my teams getting good results and winning titles," said Mourinho.

"Other people have more time than I have. Other people have different standards than I have and that's not a problem for me at all.

"We are going to lose matches, that's obvious, and I can imagine we are going to have even more criticism than we have now."

Mourinho, whose side lie second in the Premier League table, two points behind Manchester City after eight matches, said the criticism was not a problem for him.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

"In relation to the last match, speaking about the Champions League I would like to know — because I don't know — when United last won two consecutive matches away?

"I would like to know the last time United won nine points from three matches in the Champions League? We are doing OK."

Mourinho found himself unwittingly embroiled in a war of words with Antonio Conte this week after his comments that certain managers complain about injuries to key players were relayed to the Chelsea manager, who responded angrily.

"I don't speak to him. I don't know why he speaks to me. That's no problem," said Mourinho, whose team travel to Huddersfield on Saturday.

"Maybe it's not his fault. Maybe it's the journalists' fault when probably they've passed him a wrong message.

"I know what I said after the match, which is the reality. There are managers all over the world that, by philosophy, they prefer to speak about injuries, prefer to try to find excuses of a hypothetical failure based on injuries.

"I moan and cry about other things. I moan about the fixtures, moan about no time to rest. I moan about why I don't understand why we play Saturday after Wednesday when we should play Sunday."

Veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic is making progress in his recovery from surgery on a knee ligament injury and is expected to return before the end of the calendar year while Mourinho said he was unsure when Paul Pogba would be back in action.