MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Sep 21 – Manchester United players are concerned Jose Mourinho’s public and private criticism is having a negative effect on their campaign, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The Red Devils face Northampton in the League Cup on Wednesday having lost their last three matches in all competitions.
Mourinho, who replaced Louis van Gaal as manager in the summer, singled out Luke Shaw following the 3-1 defeat at Watford on Sunday, while Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were criticised after the derby loss to Manchester City.
Sir Alex Ferguson was famed for his “hairdryer” treatment of players at Old Trafford, but the Scot very rarely spoke negatively of his squad in public.
And according to English newspaper The Daily Telegraph, the squad have been left shocked amid fears the former Chelsea boss is damaging confidence.
“His delivery of criticism is nasty,” one source is quoted as saying. “It is far more personal than Fergie ever was.”
Meanwhile, Mourinho is understood to have expressed concerns that players are still shackled by Van Gaal’s methods.
The Portuguese wants full-backs Shaw and Antonio Valencia to bomb forward in particular, however the duo were instructed for two years under Van Gaal to look inside to pass to the centre-halves.
Likewise, midfielder Ander Herrera is being encouraged to pass and move differently after being castigated for making attacking runs under the Dutchman.
The form of Wayne Rooney remains a big concern for Mourinho, with the United captain woefully out of form and reportedly feeling the pressure amid a huge amount of scrutiny on his performances.
Rooney is expected to be rested against Northampton but fears for his place for the visit of Leicester in Saturday’s Premier League clash.