Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes he deserves credit for not complaining more about Paul Pogba’s injury problems and those affecting the rest of his squad.
France midfielder Pogba has been absent for almost two months because of a hamstring injury sustained during a 3-0 Champions League victory over Basel on September 12.
Five other players – Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick, Marcos Rojo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jesse Lingard – are currently sidelined, and Mourinho says their absences should be taken into account.
“You know, I think it’s my fault because I should cry every week about our injuries and remind everybody, day after day or press conference after press conference,” he said.
“It’s my way of dealing with problems. It’s my way of trying to motivate and respect and give confidence to the players that are going to replace those people.
“But maybe I have to reconsider my profile. I know that I moan with a lot of things, but I don’t do with the injuries, and probably I should.
“I think any other manager would be speaking about Pogba every day. ‘Oh, I don’t have Pogba. Oh, when will I have Pogba?’
“‘Oh, 10 matches without Pogba. Oh, all the Champions League group phase without Pogba. Oh, all the big matches – against Liverpool, against Chelsea, against Spurs – without Pogba. Oh.’
“I don’t speak about Pogba one single time. It’s only when you ask me about his situation.
“And it’s not just Pogba. It’s Pogba, it’s Fellaini, it’s Carrick, it’s Ibra, it’s Marcos Rojo. It’s a big group of players. So yes, I think we are doing very, very well.”
Mourinho has repeatedly refused to predict when Pogba might be fit again.
The former Juventus midfielder returned to United’s Carrington training headquarters just over a week ago after spending time rehabilitating in Miami.
United are five points below Premier League leaders Manchester City ahead of their trip to champions Chelsea on Sunday.
Mourinho regularly bumps into Chelsea supporters as he still has his family home in Knightsbridge, a couple of miles from their ground, and says he is still warmly welcomed by them.
“I walk down the street and outside the football heat, outside the football environment, I see so many Chelsea fans, especially in the area where I live,” Mourinho said.
“I see so many Chelsea supporters and I didn’t have one single one that wasn’t nice.
“What happened in the football stadium was a different thing. When I walk in the street in London, I am just a normal guy.
“When I go to Stamford Bridge and sit in that dugout, on the right side of the tunnel, I am the manager of their opponents, so I accept every possible reaction with the utmost respect.”