Manchester United will lose more matches if they do not “grow up” and “start well”, says boss Jose Mourinho.
United rallied from 1-0 down to beat Juventus 2-1 on Wednesday – the fourth time they have come from behind to avoid defeat this season.
Mourinhos seventh-placed side face Premier League leaders Manchester City at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
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“If we keep conceding goals before the opponent, there will arrive the day where we cannot come back,” he said.
United were 2-0 down to Newcastle in their Premier League match on 6 October but won 3-2. Two weeks later they conceded the first goal against Chelsea but fought back to draw 2-2.
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Against Bournemouth last weekend, Marcus Rashfords 92nd-minute goal gave them a 2-1 win after conceding in the 11th minute.
In Turin on Wednesday, Cristiano Ronaldo put Juventus ahead but an 85th-minute free-kick from Juan Mata and an Alex Sandro own goal four minutes later saw United complete a famous Champions League comeback.
Atletico Madrid Heavy defeat in Dortmund means that Atletico are still hoping for a slip-up from their Group A rivals to finish top, but any chance that Club Brugge had of causing an unthinkable shock have evaporated. This was a night to showcase Diego Simeone’s Atletico in their most distilled form: 31% possession that equated to 15 shots and Dortmund failing to even manage a shot on target. There is plenty of life in the old dogs yet.
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“We are not a team that gives up,” said Mourinho. “We are a team that always finds a way to fight back.
“We have to make sure that we grow up, not just in our approach, because I think it is clear that the team is growing up, but we also have to grow up in our compactness and to start matches well.”
United could be bolstered by the return of Romelu Lukaku for Sundays derby, with the Belgium striker missing the Bournemouth and Juventus games because of injury.
“Lukaku is training with the team this morning,” said Mourinho. “If the answer is positive and we have, of course, one more session tomorrow, but if the answer is positive then he is ready.”
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United finished second in the league last season – 19 points behind City. This season They are seventh, nine adrift of Pep Guardiolas side.
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The last meeting between the sides in April saw United come from 2-0 down at half-time to win 3-2 and delay City clinching the title.
“The real problem is the 90 minutes of insults. Its not something that just happens at the Juventus Stadium – its in the culture of Italian football.
“We are going to try. I cannot say that we are going to be successful in our motivations and desires,” said the Portuguese.
“But we played two difficult matches away against two very good teams, Chelsea and Juventus, and we managed to get good results.
“Even if the good results were not in our pockets, the performances were there. The positive attitude was there, so we are going to try.
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“I dont think it [the Manchester derby] is special because of what happened last season. Its special because it is a Manchester derby and it means what it means.”
Mourinho and Guardiola worked together at Barcelona, as backroom staff and player respectively, but their relationship has been strained at times since turning to management.
But Guardiola said on Friday there is no problem between them: “We are both good guys, more than you expect. Its much better, believe me.”
The build-up to the derby has been overshadowed by German news magazine Der Spiegel alleging City – and PSG – overvalued sponsorship deals to help meet Uefas Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
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City said they will not be commenting on the claims and the attempt to damage their reputation is “organised and clear”.
Romelu Lukaku could be available again following a hamstring injury. Mourinho said: Lukaku is training with the team this [Friday] morning. If his response is positive – and we have of course one more session tomorrow – he is ready.
Guardiola said: “If they want to undermine us, no problem. We live our lives – we will remember in our hearts for the rest of our lives how we played.
“If we have done something wrong we will be punished. The federation has to decide but I trust what the club tell me.”
“I understand how important it is but we played quite well [in Aprils defeat]. In the end we were champions. If we keep getting three points well be champions again.”
We have to play good. If we play good, we have a chance to win. You cannot imagine we are going to play amazingly for 90 minutes against top teams. I would like to play the same game as last season when we played top for 75 minutes but United showed us that they just need 10 or 15 minutes to create chance. When they have the ball, they can create something because they have incredible talent.
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“Win or lose, they are not out of the title race – it’s impossible in November,” he said.
“They’ve already showed they can recover like when they were 2-0 down against Newcastle. It is a big club with a big mentality.
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“Yeah, Lukaku is training with the team this morning,” Mourinho said. “If the answer is positive and we have of course one more session tomorrow, if the answer is positive he’s ready but in this moment I can only say he trains with the team, I don’t know his answer.”
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Mourinho added to MUTV: “No new injuries. So from Juventus we don’t bring important injuries. We have touches but I don’t think any player that was available for Juventus will be out. We have a chance – it is Friday morning now – that Lukaku could be back.”
“I owe a lot to BVB and I have a lot in mind with this team. I’m happy here and did not sign for so long for nothing.”
“I know that if the people close to me are happy, I am happy, and I can do my job better. For me, it was a shame not to work with Guardiola again because he knows I adore him, but at the same time it was a new challenge which is what changed my mind.”
Mourinho told MUTV: “No new injuries. So from Juventus we don’t bring important injuries. We have touches but I don’t think any player that was available for Juventus will be out. We have a chance – it is Friday morning now – that Lukaku could be back.”
“I never gave up,” Mourinho told MUTV. ”I never gave up my feelings that this was the right way for him, even if he had to go through difficult moments.
“I knew that for him to become a really top player, he needed to overcome some barriers that I put on the road for him. It is up to his talent, because he has phenomenal talent.
“It was just a question of him understanding what a top player is because there is a big difference between a top talent and a top player.”
“When you look at how Manchester City are run all of the decisions, all the way up, are made by footballing people; people who understand the game and have been involved in football for a long time and know all about the coaches needs and the player’s needs. Whereas at United it’s businessmen all the way up who are qualified in other areas but with no understanding of actual football. This is why they fail in terms of transfer negotiations and the structure of the club. They don’t understand that it’s not just about the first team and the here and now. It’s about planning for the future and for all the money Manchester United have spent you don’t look at them and think ‘well in five years’ time they’ll be great because they have all these young players’. They are going to have to buy again and again and again. They need to restructure everything from top to bottom if they want to catch up with Manchester City.”
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I thought Jose doing that after the game, that’s why everyone loves him, the idea of seeing him cup the hand to the fans some people may not like it but that’s what I love about him and that’s what I love about football.
I think there should be reaction and passion at the end of a match. I even liked his reaction at the end of the game against Newcastle the other week which the FA have now appealed on.
Manchester United will now turn their focus towards the small matter of their Premier League showdown against Manchester City in the top flight on Sunday afternoon at The Etihad.
To me Jose Mourinho, his best quality were he was impossible when he was winning and impossible when he was losing, and it was always enthralling to watch. He charmed along the way as well and certainly when you see him smile and laughing when I think of him in that press conference after the game and some of the one liners he was coming out with compared to where he was a few weeks ago or the day before that Newcastle game, there’s a massive difference. And he’s hung in there and shown determination because it was getting closer. It was feeling like something was happening and he will have known that, he’s an experienced manager and he will have felt the world was collapsing in and around him and the club. It felt like there was going to be change and Chelsea felt like the big one.
Or Newcastle that was huge, nearly winning at SB will have given the players confidence and since then they’ve frown and grown, not necessarily great performance levels but a real doggedness and determination. There were people strongly suggesting the players weren’t with the manager, I never bought in to that. You don’t win away from home or show the level of determination fighting to the end if that’s the case. Even though everything might not be perfect and there’s certainly one or two issues rumbling between Jose and players at time. But the players are proving on the pitch they are fighting for the players, the badge and the coaching staff.
“Manchester didnt do much, in my opinion. They create two chances at set-pieces. English teams always looking for the set-pieces.
Yeah Lukaku is training with the team this morning if this answer is positive and we have of course one more session tomorrow, if the answer is positive and we have of course one more session tomorrow, if the answer is positive he’s ready but in this moment I can only say he trains with the team, I don’t know his answer.
“We are enjoying our football, enjoying winning games and enjoying the pressure of playing in big games, big Champions League matches.
“You can’t write us off easily, we’ll fight until the end and we’ll get late goals, as we have done over the last few games.
“This will give us a lot of confidence going into the next match. We’ve still got a lot to work on but we are doing well and the confidence is up.”
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“Manchester United still have the same goals. But we have got to be brutally honest, the league has changed again,” Cole told Sky Sports News.
“Manchester United used to dominate, especially in the Premier League and won the FA Cup a few times.
“To a certain extent now it has gone away from them a little bit. Manchester City have invested heavily, changed manager, brought in a lot of good players and changed the way they play football.
“It is a case of getting some stability now and finding the formula whereby they can challenge Manchester City over the next couple of years.
“Manchester City are only going to get better. Liverpool and Chelsea are also only going to get better so the league will become as tight as ever.”
I’m surprised that City are such strong favourites for the match, but that will be good news for me when I bet on Man Utd and win some money!
Of course, United defenders will have to be on top form to keep out Sterling, Aguero and co, but Juventus were also odds-on favourites and had the likes of Ronaldo and Dybala in their ranks, so it can be done.
I hope they keep up the good results and that United have a good future,” the Portugal international said.
“It’s different times, a different coach and a different culture I think. Different players, a different mentality, and you can see the attitude is not the same.
“Before [when I was at the club], sometimes we didn’t play good football but at the end, we showed that we could do things that other teams couldn’t. The last 15 minutes [of games in those days] was just Man Utd. It was attack, attack, attack.
“But they still have great players they still have time to work on it. They have a great manager so I hope in the future they will get back to their best.”
“Alexis Sanchez was much improved against Juventus on Wednesday and it’s no coincidence that there was no Lukaku present.
Without him [Lukaku], rather than booting in a long ball and hoping for the best, the United players are forced to play down the sides and get men in behind,” he said.
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“And I’d go as far as to say it’s exciting to watch, they’re playing proper football again! They’re playing what I would call the United way.”
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“He has incredible potential, but does not always show it regularly,” Deschamps said after confirming Martial’s return to the international fold.
“He is still a young player, but one who, I hope, is seeing the importance he has taken in Manchester in recent weeks.
“It depends only on him, he can develop a lot more, he has to do it, and has to change a lot of things to get regular performances through a whole season, or even several seasons.”
Jose Mourinho will address reporters at Carrington today as focus shifts from Juventus and onto Sundays derby.