Jose Mourinho has urged Manchester United fans to ‘raise the roof’ in Sunday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford following the 2-0 EFL Cup semi-final first-leg win over Hull at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
United boss Mourinho also insisted there was a need for improvement from himself and his players too as he urged supporters not to “come to the theatre” on Sunday but “come to play with us”.
After second-half goals from Juan Mata and substitute Marouane Fellaini steered his side to victory against the Tigers on Tuesday, Mourinho expressed his concerns, saying: “Maybe I didn’t do my job well to prepare the players for the game.
“But the players have to improve and I have to improve, and I am sorry to say I think the fans have also to improve for a big match on Sunday.
“Our performances (for the Hull match) were enough to win but for Sunday, we all have to improve.”
He added: “I always think that we are responsible for the fans’ participation in the game.
“If we play very, very well, very enthusiastic, they come to the pitch and play with us. When we didn’t play so well, with so much emotion and intensity, it is normal that they relax a little bit.
“We have absolutely amazing fans.
“What I feel is that Sunday is a special match for us, a special match for the Manchester United fans – so my invitation is don’t come to the theatre, come to play, play with us.”
Mourinho said his team “played slow”, “complicated things” and “always had one more touch, one more second to delay the decision”, although he did admit that in terms of this having been a ninth straight win in all competitions for United, he “cannot ask more” of his players.
And he said: “In spite of a match against Reading (Saturday’s 4-0 FA Cup win) where we could rest some players, it is an accumulation of matches in this period.
“So only after Liverpool we are going to have a little space until we play Stoke away.
“But now we need one last effort. Let’s recover and focus on Sunday.”