Matic defends Mourinho: 'He's diverted pressure away from us players'

Samuel Lovett
The Independent

Nemanja Matic has dismissed the notion that Jose Mourinho is on the brink of yet another managerial crisis, insisting the Portuguese “knows what he is doing” at Manchester United.

Mourinho’s position at Old Trafford has fallen under intense scrutiny in recent weeks, with United already six points off the pace after suffering two defeats from their opening four games.

Speculation over Mourinho’s strained relationship with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has added to the sense of unease surrounding the club and its fans, a small number of whom paid for a flyover protest against Woodward during Sunday’s 2-0 win against Burnley.

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But following victory at Turf Moor, which saw Romelu Lukaku double up against Sean Dyche’s men, Matic has insisted that all is well at Manchester United under Mourinho’s tenure.

When asked about the 55-year-old’s press conference antics, Matic said: “He knows what he is doing for sure. You probably know that also. It’s good for us also. He is one of the best managers in the world, you know what he won in his career so that shows you everything.”

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Mourinho celebrates United’s win after the final whistle (AFP/Getty Images)

The Serbian also rejected suggestions that Mourinho’s mood has darkened at Old Trafford this season.

“No, no, I think he is dealing very well with the pressure,” Matic said. “That is why he is here in Manchester United. I don’t see any difference.”

Looking forward, Matic said that United could not afford any further slip-ups but added that it was “impossible” that league leaders Liverpool would not endure their own setbacks on the pitch.

“They also have to win all games, and I think that’s impossible,” he said. “Someone needs to lose to drop the points and it’s still too early to say something. We will see in March where we are because in March you can see who is fighting for the title, who is not, who is fighting to be in the top four. It is still too early.”

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Matic added that he was happy with the result against Burnley, which returned United to winning ways after back-to-back defeats.

“I think we played well, like we played first half against Spurs, I think we did well. We won 2-0 but we also had many chances to score, but I am happy with 2-0.”

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