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Saturday 17 November 2018

Jose's given Mour time

United boss has until Wednesday to answer FA disrepute charge he swore into camera

Man United’s Luke Shaw
Man United’s Luke Shaw

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has been given until Wednesday to answer a FA charge of using abusive, insulting or improper language after the victory over Newcastle.

The United manager swore in Portuguese to a camera after his side came from behind to triumph 3-2 at Old Trafford two weeks ago. He had initially been given until yesterday to respond.

Mourinho, who was asked if the charge was another example of the 'manhunt' against him and his team he spoke about earlier this month, said: "If I answer your question I have probably another process because I cannot imply bias. So my answer is no answer."

Ban

He could potentially face a touchline ban but that would not have applied to today's game against Mourinho's former club Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The match against Newcastle began with reports of Mourinho facing the sack only for United to turn a two-goal deficit into a 3-2 victory in a potentially season-turning moment.

The international break arguably came at the wrong time for United and Mourinho agreed, saying: "I felt that after the match. Then it looks an eternity. Even today we don't have every player back. It's a bit strange.

''But I think the feelings of the last match remain. The players are happy and focused on the match."

Mourinho is looking for his first success at Stamford Bridge as United boss having lost on all three previous visits.

The first ended in a crushing 4-0 defeat while the last two trips saw 1-0 wins for Chelsea, who are unbeaten table-toppers under new coach Maurizio Sarri. Mourinho said: "For me it's another game. Would I celebrate like crazy my team's goal at Stamford Bridge or my team's victory? I don't think so. I think I would try always to control myself and to respect the stadium and the supporters that were my supporters for many years.

"It's a match I want to do well for my players, for my team, for my supporters. I'm 100 per cent Manchester United tomorrow. No space for anything more than respect."

Ander Herrera is set to return after missing the last three matches while Diogo Dalot, Marouane Fellaini, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw all picked up minor injuries on or before international duty.

Shaw will hope to be fit enough to continue his fine season, which saw him awarded a new five-year deal on Thursday.

Having been publicly critical of the left-back on numerous occasions since arriving at the club, Mourinho has praised Shaw this season, and he said: "Players are different and they react in different ways to the development process and Luke reacted in the best possible way.

"In his difficult moments, he was saying the same all the time, 'I want to play for you, I want to play for United, I'm going to make it and I'm going to be the player you want me to be'. And he did it. He faced the process in a brave way. He went for holidays with a club fitness coach and he arrived on day one in much better condition than a player that has a holiday just for fun and rest. From a tactical point of view I think he absorbed all the information, all the work.

"Mentally he got stronger and of course the happiness of this season to play regularly and to feel the place was his place.

''I think the national team, also helped. I think an important contract for the club to keep him and important for him because it's what he wants."

Meanwhile, Sarri reckons the players at Mourinho's disposal are the best in the Premier League.

"They are a very strong team. Maybe player-by-player they are the best team in the Premier League," Sarri said.

"At the moment I think City are better like a team, but player-by-player United are very, very strong."

That may be seen as implied criticism of Mourinho, but Sarri was not about to copy predecessor Antonio Conte in igniting a public feud with the former Porto, Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss.

Respect

"We are talking about a coach who has won everything," said Sarri, who is yet to win a trophy. "He has won everywhere. So I think that I have to respect him. You all have to respect him."

When asked whether three-time Premier League winner Mourinho was being shown enough respect, Sarri said: "I think, no, at the moment."

Asked if he was surprised by United's poor start, Sarri added: "A little bit, but I think it can happen.

"We are talking about only eight matches. They are doing well in the Champions League, so they have the opportunity to improve in the Premier League."

Sarri also dismissed reports that the Blues had lost patience with striker Alvaro Morata.

He added: "In the last month I think Morata has played better. And in the last three days I have seen him very well in training."

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