Manchester United players need to “deal with” the public criticism from manager Jose Mourinho, according to former Portugal star Deco.
Mourinho suggested Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard had disappointed him as well as criticising Eric Bailly’s passing after the derby loss to Manchester City, and he made negative comments about Luke Shaw after United lost 3-1 at Watford.
However, ex-Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder Deco, who won the UEFA Cup and Champions League under Mourinho at Porto, said criticism should be expected an elite club.
At the launch of the Star Sixes indoor football tournament, Deco said: “If you are playing at a club like Chelsea, United, Barcelona, Madrid — the big clubs — you need to be prepared to do your best. If you want to play at a high level, you need to be able to deal with everything.
“I don’t like the coach criticising me, but he knows better than us players and sometimes he does that not to pressure players but to give something different. He knows better than us, he’s with them every day and — of course — the players don’t like it but sometimes it works.”
He added: “At Porto, sometimes publicly, he did the same thing. It is part of his work, he knows sometimes the player reactions will be different. When you lose and when you are not playing very well you need to improve.
“Whether the coach says it on the media or in the dressing room, it is the same thing. When the team is not playing well everyone knows that they need to do better. Maybe Jose knows that when they have lost a few games, they need to improve. I don’t think it’s a problem.”