Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho denies rift with Ed Woodward and sidesteps more Paul Pogba controversy in bizarre 4min 19sec press conference

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JOSE MOURINHO just was not in the mood for it yesterday.

Not for questions, not for answers, not for banter, no hidden messages, nothing.

Jose Mourinho insists there is no trouble between him and Ed Woodward
Jose Mourinho insists there is no trouble between him and Ed Woodward
Getty – Contributor

After a week when his managerial style has been dissected and discarded after Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at Brighton, you cannot really blame him.

Not that the broadcast media will agree.

Mourinho is normally box office but during the 4min 19sec of questions at Carrington, he was anything  but sparkling.

Press conferences always begin with an easy question for the manager to get him in the mood. So, what was Manchester United’s injury situation ahead of the clash with Tottenham.

Woodward's relationship with Mourinho was believed to have been fractious
Woodward’s relationship with Mourinho was believed to have been fractious
EPA

He replied: “I don’t know because today is still Friday and training Saturday, training on Sunday, match Monday.”

He did admit that Nemanja Matic, Antonio Valencia and Alexis Sanchez are in training, saying: “Decisions to be made Saturday but, yes, training with the team.”

OK, so moving on,

Has it been easier because the players have been more motivated in the wake of the Brighton game?


“No, I think it is difficult after a match you lose,  especially for people that really cares about the job, about being a football professional.

“When you win you have to move on and focus on what next, when you lose you have to do even more.”

Next up a question about ‘background noise at the club’ — a  subtle way of saying the wotsit has been hitting the fan of late

Jose said: “Yeah, well don’t ask me because I don’t read.

“I don’t know, I don’t know ten per cent of what is written. I don’t know ten per cent of what is coming on the TV screens so I’m not the right guy to answer it.”

And so it went on . . .

Q: Do you feel though that if there is so much talk, it might be a bit of an overreaction to a defeat in your second game?

JOSE: What?

Q: Do you think it’s a bit of an overreaction, all this talk?

JOSE: You are pessimistic, I am not.

Q: You always spoke with great respect about Ed Woodward, your executive vice chairman, I imagine the relationship with him is fine?

JOSE: Of course.

Q: And no problem at all?

JOSE. No.

Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho don't look set to fix their relationship soon
Paul Pogba criticised his own performance against Brighton
Reuters

Q: Jose, when Paul Pogba comes out and says the attitude wasn’t right after a game like Brighton, how does that make you feel as a manager that you’ve got this brilliant player that can be exceptional one week and the next week, so inconsistent?

JOSE: Paul told. Paul has to answer by his words. If you want any explanation about Paul’s words you must get him and ask him.

Q: How do you think things are in terms of the way you are playing this season?

Jose Mourinho told reporters to quiz Paul Pogba on his comments about having the wrong attitude
Jose Mourinho told reporters to quiz Paul Pogba on his comments about having the wrong attitude
EPA

JOSE: How do I feel?

Q: How do you feel?

JOSE: I feel we played well against Leicester and we won. I felt we played bad against Brighton and we lost.

Q: What would you like to see from the players and what would you like to see against Spurs? You’ve got a great opportunity . . . (interrupted)

JOSE: I would like to play well and win.

Q: How do you do that after the Brighton game. How do you get them alright again?

JOSE: It’s to play well and win. Don’t make mistakes, play well and win. That’s what we want.

Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof came under fire for their performances against Brighton
Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof came under fire for their performances against Brighton
PA:Empics Sport

Q: Do you think Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof have progressed the way you hoped they would so far in their career here?

JOSE: I don’t analyse with you my players.

Q: What about Spurs? How impressed are you with them and Pochettino and how they are going about their business?

JOSE: I am not going to comment.

Q: Spurs games are always tight affairs. Is it the right time to be playing them?

Mourinho is fuming Woodward was unable to provide him with a new centre-half despite identifying targets months ago
Mourinho has a tough test against Tottenham this weekend
PA:Press Association

JOSE: You have to play against 19 opponents at Old Trafford and 19 away. You have to play against everyone. I don’t know when is the right time.

“It is the time. The fixtures are decided this way and we have to play Tottenham in the second match at Old Trafford before we go away twice in a row against Burnley and Watford.

“This is what it is. Of course tough match, against a team that last season finished in the top four so difficult match.”

Difficult match, difficult Jose. Difficult days at United.