Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho says he is not thinking about the current eight-point gap in the Premier League to Manchester City
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho insists he is not worried by the current eight-point gap to leaders Manchester City and is focused only on Saturday’s game with Arsenal.
United travel to the Emirates to face Arsene Wenger’s team this weekend in search of a fourth consecutive Premier League win.
Mourinho’s side are eight points behind their Manchester rivals after 14 games – thanks to City dropping just two points this season – though he maintains that it’s simply “one game at a time” for his squad.
“I play a game at a time. And I think that’s the way to do it,” Mourinho said during his pre-match news conference.
“Yesterday I was watching an interesting movie: Bjorn Borg vs John McEnroe. And Borg’s coach was telling him that all of the time ‘one point at a time’ – think just about one point at a time, and I tell my players to think just about the game.
“I always say this, it doesn’t matter what happens before – it’s just this game [against Arsenal].
“We don’t think about how many points we are in front of them, how many points we are behind the leader, we don’t think about that, just Arsenal. It’s difficult enough for us to focus on other things. Focus on this game.”
United go into the game looking for their first away win in eight attempts against top-six opposition under Mourinho, having drawn three and lost four of their previous seven while scoring just once.
As a result, Mourinho has been criticised for his negative tactics with little risk against the Premier League’s leading teams, though the Portuguese remains unconcerned.
“It depends on what you think about risks,” he added.
“I think in the beginning of football the guy that decided to say defenders and attackers – this guy was bad because in football everybody has to defend and everybody has to attack. Especially in modern football.”
The United boss confirmed Marouane Fellaini, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly will not be available for Saturday’s visit to north London, while Nemanja Matic will travel with the squad but remains a doubt.
“Matic is a doubt. I hope he can, but I cannot guarantee. He is selected to go, let’s see the feeling before the match – let’s see the warm-up.
“I hope he can, I want him to and he wants to, but I cannot guarantee.”