The former Manchester United captain, Wayne Rooney has thrown his weight behind the Portugese, adding that his former teammates ‘must do better’.
The 33-year-old played under Mourinho for a season at the Theatre of Dreams before joining Everton on a free transfer in 2017.
United, though, have struggled during Mourinho’s third term at the club and are currently in eighth place in the Premier League table, even as three consecutive away games against Bournemouth, Juventus and Manchester City approach.
Rooney, however, feels that United must stick by the beleaguered Portugese and says the squad has been under-performing.
“Obviously they are going through a difficult period at the minute, but Jose Mourinho is very experienced and I think some players have to do a little bit better,” Rooney told the BBC.
“Hopefully they can turn their form around, win a few more games and keep the pressure on the top of the table and get back up there, which is where we all want to see them. In my experience, I have never seen or heard of a player not wanting to play in the game because they have had a falling out with the manager.”
“I don’t think as a player you could do that, you’ve got to respect the club and the fans and also respect your team-mates. I don’t think any player, certainly at Manchester United, will be not playing for Jose, I’m sure they’re all working hard behind the scenes to get results.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd24x7) October 31, 2018
Rooney himself moved to DC United earlier this year and has inspired the Washington club into the MLS playoffs.
DC were bottom of the Eastern Conference when Rooney moved Stateside, but since then they have become the form team as the league heads into the post-season.
While there are grains of truth in Rooney’s claims that the United squad has underperformed, and that this current shambles that the club finds itself in is more an indictment of the higher-ups, it is no secret that Mourinho has reverted to his third-season syndrome. Perhaps a united front between manager and players, at least till the end of the season, will suit all parties and improve results.