Mourinho's approach of playing direct football suits United stars


"For me, it's the biggest club in the world, and I think he's got the potential to be one of the best".

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has come out in support of manager Jose Mourinho's "realness", claiming that the outspoken Old Trafford boss is "cool with everybody".

"I can expect that Sunday I'm going to be highly criticised for not playing him on Saturday because some of the boys are really obsessed with me and some of them I think a problem with some compulsive lies", he said.

"It's obviously hard [watching the World Cup], I am not going to lie", said Smalling. "He had 53 appearances but if you want to talk about the minutes of play, he played 3,068 minutes and if you want to divide that by 90 minutes of the matches, he played 34.2 matches of 90 minute matches in 2016-17", he explained.

"The only thing that is clear for me is that the player never, never in all these days we are together, told me he wants to leave".

Rashford has managed just one start and a total of 122 minutes in the Premier League this season, a situation that will not improve in the short term due to a three-game ban for butting Burnley's Phil Bardsley.

"The only situation we have to analyse is if you are going to play him when during the week he was not training with the team or if, even so, we decide to play him".

"Sometimes footballers, we get soft a little bit". So I think in the case of the national team, they play normally with five at the back and two players in attack.

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Asked what is done with the money generated from fines, Gracia added: "They players decide what they want to do (with the money)".

"Performances with England, of course I'm happy".

Mourinho opted to take in Saturday's Nations League game to keep an eye on Manchester United stars Marcus Rashford, David de Gea, Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard.

Nemanja Matic admitted to being "surprised" after the game at Watford that Smalling did not go to the World Cup after playing almost 50 games for United last season but the centre-back insists his focus now is only on his club career. He played well, he competed well and he scored, especially in a period where he comes with some sadness after his suspension and it was very good that he did that. "It was very good that he did that". When he's happy, you see he is happy.

"Everton is a club where someone like a Rashford knows he can play every week".

Lukaku hit a brace as United bounced back to winning ways at Burnley before the global break, but Mourinho's men are six points off the top of the Premier League table following defeats to Tottenham and Brighton and Hove Albion.

His affinity for the striker spot has led many to comment that Jose Mourinho deploying him as a wide forward isn't the right way to go.