The Red Devils boss was especially abrasive to reporters on Friday as he was quizzed about Monday’s meeting with Mauricio Pochettino’s sideOften hesitant to face journalists and their intrusive questions, Premier League managers have a tendency to turn up late for press conferences instead of on time.
But Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho took an unusual step to try to avoid the media on Friday when he strolled in to greet the press – many of whom had yet to arrive – 30 minutes earlier than expected, and then walked back out four minutes later after a series of short and rather unhelpful answers.
Tension has been building around the Portuguese already this season as he was left frustrated by their business during the transfer window.
It has been reported that the former Real Madrid boss has fallen out with director Ed Woodward and it has been suggested that there could soon be a split between coach and club.
Although Mourinho insisted that there are no problems between him and Woodward, his one word answers on the matter only raise further questions.
When asked if all was well with Woodward, he replied: “Of course”, and then responded simply “no” when pressed on any problems with him.
Mourinho’s personal relationship with United midfield Paul Pogba has also again come into question this season, with the pair going head-to-head in a string of cryptic messages via the media.
The Frenchman, who led his country to the World Cup trophy in the summer, stirred the pot once more following United’s opening Premier League fixture against Leicester.
“There are things I can say and there are things that I cannot say, otherwise I will get fined,” Pogba told reporters when asked if he felt comfortable at the club.
Mourinho then moved to quash rumours of a falling out, however, claiming he’s “never been so happy” with his stand-in captain.
Pressed further on the situation ahead of Tottenham’s visit to Old Trafford on Monday, Mourinho was typically spiky in his reply.
Asked how he felt about Pogba’s comments on the situation at the club, Mourinho said: “Paul said it, he has to answer by his words.
“If you want any explanation about Paul’s words you must get him and ask him.”
United host Spurs having been beaten by Brighton in their last outing, Chris Hughton’s side running out 3-2 winners on the south coast in Matchday Two.
Mourinho and his team have been subsequently criticised by pundits and supporters but the Red Devils boss isn’t interested in external opinions.
“I feel we played well against Leicester and we won. I feel we played bad against Brighton and we lost.”
“I would like to play well and win [against Tottenham].”
Pushed further on whether he has been impressed by Mauricio Pochettino’s side so far this term, Mourinho said: “I’m not going to comment.”
Mourinho’s recent concerns with his defensive players were also raised in Friday’s press conference, with United making no secret of their desire for an additional centre-back in the summer transfer window.
Toby Alderweireld and Harry Maguire were both targeted by United, though neither move transpired and Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly were partnered at the back against Brighton at the Amex.
After an unconvincing display, Mourinho was questioned as to whether the pair had progressed as the Portuguese had hoped, though he was again quick to shut down reporters.
“I don’t analyse with you my players,” he said.
United and Spurs will meet at Old Trafford on Monday evening before Mourinho and his side travel to Burnley and Watford in their following two fixtures.Follow us on social media:
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