13 October 2017
Jose Mourinho thinks his Manchester United side will thrive on the hostile atmosphere they will face at Anfield.
The Red Devils take on Liverpool in a lunchtime kick-off on Merseyside, a trip former United defender Mikael Silvestre likened to “going to hell”.
But the Portuguese does not see it that way at all.
“You know, this is quite funny for me because I think when people speak about big atmospheres, it looks like we don’t like it, it looks like it’s a problem for us to go to a certain place and to face a big atmosphere,” the United boss said.
“(But) this is what we want. I am surprised that you speak about (going to Anfield) in a negative way, I am even more surprised when I hear former, big players speak about atmospheres like something sinister, something that worries (us).
“It motivates us, it is something that we want, it is something that if we could have every match, we would have every match.
“You know, when Barcelona played against Las Palmas with an empty stadium (at the start of October), do you think the players were happy with that? Do you think Las Palmas’ players wouldn’t prefer to play with the Nou Camp full of people and a great atmosphere?
“We are speaking about Old Trafford, in this case Anfield, like it’s a big problem. It’s a satisfaction, that’s what we want
“I never see a player complain ‘oh, this atmosphere was very strong’. We complain when the atmosphere is flat.
“When we play at home and we don’t see big enthusiasm in the people, we complain.
“So we go to where we want to go, we go to play against a big team with a big tradition in an amazing stadium with great tradition.
“We know that the fans have huge animosity against Manchester United historically, but this is what we want, so we are very happy to have one more opportunity in our careers to play in these beautiful conditions. It’s beautiful to play at Anfield. Beautiful.”
Mourinho’s enthusiasm for the trip was in marked contrast to his view of it at the start of the press conference, when he described it as “just one more match”.
It is a game the United boss will face without midfielders Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick and almost certainly Marouane Fellaini, as well as the influential duo of Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The latter missed a glorious chance to snatch a win at Anfield last term, when Mourinho’s defence-minded approach came under scrutiny.
“Yeah, I will play with one defender and nine strikers, don’t worry about it,” he said of his approach this time.
“That’s for sure. We play with one guy behind and then we go with a new system, even an evolution of the old WM (tactical system) and we play with nine strikers. Don’t worry about it.”
Laid-back Mourinho did speak of the performances and confidence being better than this time last year, while their position has also markedly improved – even if they have yet to face a top-10 side.
“The only thing I would say is that we dropped points last season in many matches that you consider you would win before you start to play, you win in the tunnel because you wear a certain shirt – and we lost a lot of these points,” the United boss said.
“This season we lost two (points) against Stoke but we managed in the other matches to get the points.”
Source : FootyMad