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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 14 December, 2018

'I don't know who is more ambitious than us. I don't know what you want': Jose defends approach

The Manchester United boss is still dealing with criticism for what’s perceived by some as a defensive football style.

Image: Daniel Teuscher

MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS Jose Mourinho has defended his approach to games and questioned whether there’s another team in the Premier League who is as ambitious as his side.

United head into the weekend’s clash with Brighton on the back of a 1-0 midweek Champions League defeat to Basel while from their last four league fixtures, they’ve lost two – to Huddersfield and Chelsea respectively.

And despite also getting the better of Tottenham and putting four past Newcastle during that stretch, Mourinho’s strategy is still seen by many as too defensive.

Earlier on Friday, United icon Eric Cantona admitted that even though he was a fan of Mourinho, he would prefer to see Pep Guardiola in charge at Old Trafford because of the type of football he encourages.

“He (Mourinho) is playing in this defensive way, which is not the identity of Manchester United. Both Guardiola and Mourinho are great, but I prefer attacking football, when it’s more creative. It’s the way I tried to play all my career,” Cantona told BBC Radio Four’s Today show.

'Le Roi du Monde' Photocall, Rome Film Fest 2015 Source: Daziram/Geisler-Fotopress

Later, speaking to Radio 5 Live, he expanded on his original point.

“I cannot understand why United would take a manager who plays in a defensive way. I love Mourinho, but I prefer to watch Barcelona play. I prefer the way Guardiola plays, and I would prefer him as manager of Manchester United, it’s more logical. I don’t watch Man City because it’s Man City but I would love to watch the team managed by Guardiola.”

Ahead of United’s hosting of Chris Hughton’s side on Saturday, Mourinho was asked whether people could expect a more adventurous style now that key attacking players were back from injury.

“More ambition than we do at home I think is quite difficult. I don’t know who is more ambitious than us,” Mourinho replied.

“We played against Newcastle with [Paul] Pogba, [Marcus] Rashford, [Anthony] Martial, [Juan] Mata, [Romelu] Lukaku. The full-backs are not full-backs – [Antonio] Valencia and Ashley Young. Everybody knows that they are wingers, not full-backs. So I don’t know what you want.”

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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