Man United manager Jose Mourinho has called for his players to rally ahead of their crucial clash with Man City in the EFL Cup on Wednesday off the back of their 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Antonio Conte’s Chelsea.
Speaking after the thumping at his old stomping ground, the Portuguese said:
“We are really, really sad, but this is not for kids,
“This is for men and we have to be men and work for the next one.”
The Red Devils host rivals Man City for the second time this season on Wednesday, having lost their first meeting in the Premier League 2-1.
“I would prefer to play in the Premier League [than in the EFL Cup] because it’s a bad feeling in the Premier League.
“With the combination of results, the gap to the top is six points. We’ve had a very difficult period of matches.
“We lost points this week and even in the match when we played phenomenal against Stoke, we lost points then.”
The former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss has made it abundantly clear what he expects of his players, who have taken a battering from pundits, journalists and fans alike since Sunday’s defeat, over the next few weeks:
“Now we need to win matches. I’m not saying they are easy ones, but we have Burnley, we have Swansea, West Ham, Sunderland, Middlesbrough – matches that we need to win and the top four, the top five, they have to play between themselves like we did this week against Chelsea and Liverpool.
“They are going to lose points too, so we are in the run but there is no way to hide because I think our faces speak by themselves.”
Mourinho’s side currently sit seventh in the Premier League, six points adrift of leaders Man City and five points from a prized Champions League spot.
With fierce rival, Pep Guardiola, having taken charge across Manchester at The Etihad, the onus is on Mourinho to re-establish Man United’s dominance over their neighbours, and quickly.