Jose Mourinho has responded to the criticism of Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard by former Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand.
United’s mentality has been under the spotlight this week as Ferdinand criticised Pogba and Lingard for positing a video of a new celebration.
The United great said that “until you’ve won something you can’t go out and do stuff like that” and claimed the pair were “under-performimng” – comments Mourinho was reticent to respond to.
“No, no, no, I respect Rio,” he said when asked about the comments. “He was a big guy in my club, he was a legend in my club.
“I am not, so as somebody that is not his level in the club, I don’t feel I have any legitimacy to comment on Rio.
“And I’m not saying to you that I agree or I disagree, I’m not saying that.
“I’m just saying that in relation to all these people that they are in the history of Manchester United, much bigger than I am, I don’t comment to say I agree or disagree.”
When pointed out that Sir Alex Ferguson used to keep a close eye on aspects of the players’ lives like that, the United manager made the point of the changing landscape on the field and away from it.
“It’s not good to compare moments in football, because it is the way it is in many aspects,” Mourinho said.
“Something that in football doesn’t change, especially in my mentality, is the desire to win, the responsibility to win, the feeling that I’m never happy with myself, I always want more from myself.
“That is something that, for me, never changes.
“I started as Sir Bobby Robson’s assistant in 1991, 1992 and in all this period football has changed so much. The only thing that hasn’t changed in me is that desire to work and that desire to win.
“I don’t accept anything that is good. You don’t want good, you want very good.
“That is something that I always fight every day for the people that surround me: players, assistants, medical department, everybody that surrounds me day by day.
“It’s something I fight and I will fight for forever. Other details related to evolution for good and for bad in the society, it’s not possible to compare the times.”