Jose Mourinho believes his job is not in jeopardy at Manchester United and he still has the support of the players, but admitted: ‘Some care more than others’.
Mourinho is under mounting pressure as United prepare to face Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday night following successive defeats to Derby County and West Ham.
Fallouts with Paul Pogba and a number of other United stars have not helped Mourinho’s cause, but he insists the players are still ‘honest’ and behind him.
Asked if his job is on the line, Mourinho replied: ‘No, I don’t think.’
Pressed on whether he has spoken to United chief Ed Woodward over his positon, he added: ‘That’s a private matter. I’m not asking you who did you speak with this morning, who was your last phone call, that’s a private matter.’
Mourinho also faced questions over whether his players still care enough to back him following an abject performance in the 3-1 defeat at West Ham.
He replied: ‘I think some care more than others.
‘After 20 years of football, I am still the kid that I was 20 years ago and I am still naïve, but I still don’t believe that a player is not honest.
‘There were big players in the past and I ask these people with great reputations if at any time in their careers they went to a game not to give the maximum, not to help the club, not to make the fans happy and not to try his best.
‘If somebody tells them “I was a football player and I didn’t give my best” then I change my opinion. Until somebody who was a big professional player says he was a dishonest player, I will always believe the players. They do it, they don’t do it that’s a different story, but I repeat I am naive or I still believe the player is an honest man.’
‘Sometimes what it looks is exactly the opposite. You can be laughing and be the saddest person in the world and you can have a sad face and inside you are very happy.’
On the aftermath of Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at West Ham, Mourinho said: ‘Every player is different, no player is the same. I see different reactions. But what you see is not really inside. I see upset people and some people that don’t look like they lost a game. But in the little two sessions of training we had everything is normal with a desire to work and play.’
Mourinho urged everyone at United to take responsibility for the current crisis as his team faces successive home games against Valencia and Newcastle before the international break.
‘It’s a collective thing,’ he said. ‘The reason why we don’t win is responsibility of everybody. The performance on the pitch in my opinion is the consequence of many factors.
‘Luke Shaw, for example, said something that I agree with, but I don’t agree totally because I am part of it. He said “we players on the pitch have to perform, we have to give more”. I like that perspective but I don’t agree totally. It’s all of us. Everybody in the club has a role to play – the kit man, the nutritionist, I have. Everyone has a role to play and when we lose the responsibility is the responsibility of everyone.
‘What I can do to improve things I do, and I will improve the things that depend on me and my work.
‘Champions League week is always a good week even if you expect a difficult match, a difficult opponent. It’s a big week. Everybody wants to play Champions League and not everybody can do it so we are here and have a chance to play a big match.’