Jose Mourinho has told his entire Manchester United squad to prove that they are tough enough for the fight.
On Sunday, Mourinho criticised both Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw for declaring themselves unavailable for the game against Swansea because they were not at 100%.
In the Daily Mirror, John Cross writes that Mourinho has since extended that message to his whole squad, telling them that he can have no time for those not fully committed to the cause.
“Smalling doesn’t feel that he can play 100 per cent with his pain,” Mourinho said.
“Luke Shaw told me this morning that he was not in the condition to play so we had to build a defensive line.”
While Manchester United’s players were reported to have backed their manager over his stance, it seems that all have been warned that they must run the hard yards in order to be successful. There’s surely a difference between that and playing when injured?
In addition, head of the PFA Gordon Taylor has also steamed in on the debate, criticising Mourinho for his treatment of his players.
“I was disappointed with that because, knowing the individuals, they are both highly thought of,” said Taylor.
“They have personal problems which I don’t need to relate, but sometimes a manager needs to be a psychologist as well.
“Also, we’re all human beings. That’s why, with management these days, I’m not talking about being soft, I’m talking about being understanding. Very few make it in the game and those that do have got a real resolve and a resilience.
“So to suggest that any player is being not as tough as he could be, those days are gone — when we had no substitutes and were on with a broken leg and you still carried on. Surely we’ve come beyond that.”