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Friday 9 December 2016

'Bailly needs time to adjust'

Manchester United’s Eric Bailly is pictured during the pre-season friendly match against Wigan at the DW Stadium last Saturday. Photo: PA Wire/Martin Rickett
Manchester United’s Eric Bailly is pictured during the pre-season friendly match against Wigan at the DW Stadium last Saturday. Photo: PA Wire/Martin Rickett

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has urged patience with new recruit Eric Bailly, saying that the defender will take time to adapt to the demands of England's top flight following his move from Spain.

Bailly, Mourinho's first signing since he took over from Louis van Gaal, put on an impressive display for United as the visitors beat Wigan 2-0 in a friendly on Saturday.

The 22-year-old was part of a Villarreal defence that conceded just 35 goals in 38 league matches last season.

"He's a very young boy coming from a completely different environment, but you could see what he is at this moment," Mourinho said.

"This was the first time he has worn a shirt like the Manchester United shirt. He can't speak English and can only communicate with the ones who are French-speakers or Spanish.

"I wanted to give him more minutes because he needs to play more than others. He needs to feel it and start communicating."

The former Chelsea manager also likened the Ivory Coast international to defender Raphael Varane, whom he coached at Real Madrid. "I will give him everything to try to make him better and better, like I did with other central defenders I've had in my hands," Mourinho added.

Meanwhile, midfielder Juan Mata wants to lay down an early marker in the battle of Manchester.

The eyes of the world will be watching the Premier League contest between United and City following the appointments of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola at Old Trafford and the Etihad respectively. The clubs meet this month as part of the International Champions Cup in China, where both clubs will also face Borussia Dortmund.

"At this stage the most important thing isn't the result but to get fit physically and mentally, but it's difficult to have a friendly game against City or teams like this," said Mata. "It'll be special for sure. There are a lot of supporters for United and City in China. It'll be a different derby but it'll nice for the fans.

"I think it's a good experience and we'll try to win as we did last season in the States. It's always nice to win this tournament as you're up against very prestigious rivals.

"I'm sure everyone is excited in China that we are coming. I have never been before so it will be my first time and I'm looking forward to feeling all the support and love from our fans in China."

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