It's a Fred letter day at United says old boy Ince
Devils great tells Jose to use new £52m man to bring back panache
Former Manchester United midfield general Paul Ince has urged manager Jose Mourinho to use new signing Fred as a catalyst for change at Old Trafford, after warning the Portuguese tactician that the club's fans are ready to turn on him.
United unveiled Brazil star Fred as their first major signing of the summer in a £52m deal with Shakhtar Donestk, with Ince now telling Mourinho to abandon his defensive tactics in a bid to revive his reputation among the Old Trafford faithful.
Mourinho guided United to a second-place finish in the Premier League last season, but an increasingly vocal fan base were venting their annoyance at the brand of cautious football promoted by a manager who has struggled to get the best out of flair players like Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial.
Now Paddy Power ambassador Ince - who was a Double winner with United in 1994 - has reminded Mourinho that he is at a club with long-standing traditions of playing attacking football, in comments that are unlikely to be viewed as constructive by a manager who has bristled at negative criticism of his version of the game in recent months.
"Man United fans have been brought up on a tradition of playing the game in a certain way. You can go back to Steve Coppell, through to Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and plenty more and they all played football with a bit of daring in them," begins Ince.
"United is a club that needs a team playing with style and panache. The fans want to see the team beating teams by three and four goals and if they lose occasionally, they want to see them going down fighting.
"What they have got with Mourinho is very different. To be fair to him, this is a tough job as he went in there after Louis van Gaal, who took Man United backwards, and he has got to try and build them up to Manchester City levels again. That is not easy to do overnight, but that is the job he has to do.
"To finish second is great, but United fans will lose patience with him quickly. The noisy neighbours across the road are not helping as they are playing football from another planet and it doesn't help that Liverpool and Tottenham are playing with a bit of style as well.
"The fans just won't put up with what Mourinho's team gave them last season. He can't say 'this is the way I play, take it or leave it'.
"Because I can tell you now, the fans will not accept that.
"Once he brought Sanchez in, I thought that was a sign that he was trying to change things and the same with this new signing Fred.
"I like the look of this kid. He is skilful, dynamic and should work well with the other flair players in the team, but only if Mourinho will let him express himself.
"Mourinho is signing attacking, exciting players, but he has to use them properly.
"If you sign Cristiano Ronaldo, do you tell him to track back all day and play a cautious midfield role? Of course not, but that is what Mourinho has done with some of his creative players like Paul Pogba this season.
"What you see with United is a team trying not to lose most of the time. That isn't good enough for this club, it's as simple as that," he added.
"Mourinho is a serial winner and he may have got away with this style of football at his previous clubs, but you won't get away with this at United."
p Paul Ince is an ambassador for Paddy Power and will be a guest on Paddy's Boat Party, which will be broadcast live on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube throughout the World Cup. Watch the first episode on June 13 at 6pm.