Two of Mourinho’s former players have leapt to his defence amid growing pressure on the Portuguese boss
Under-pressure Jose Mourinho should not be held solely responsible for Manchester United’s struggles this season, according to Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney.
Mourinho’s problems keep stacking up as he faces the possibility of a Football Association charge later this week for his comments as he walked along the touchline immediately after his side defeated Newcastle at the weekend.
The result – United came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Old Trafford – relieved some of the strain on Mourinho, although the Red Devils are already cut adrift from the leading Premier League contenders.
Three defeats in eight league matches have led to questions about Mourinho’s future at United, but both Lampard and Rooney believe the players need to take some responsibility for their current plight.
Derby boss Lampard, who worked under Mourinho at Chelsea, said: “They’re a team full of quality players; a club that success is demanded of, week-in, week-out, season on season.
“For Jose Mourinho, being a manager myself now, I know how tough it is when things aren’t quite going right.
“(The result against Newcastle) was a massive win, which I was personally very happy with for him, and now it’s down to the players. The players have to perform at the level they did in the second half against Newcastle every week.”
Former United striker Rooney echoed his former England team-mate’s sentiments.
The DC United frontman told the Daily Telegraph: “It’s tough [at United], it has been a tough situation.
“The players, the manager, it has been a tough start to the season. I know Jose is getting a load of stick, but I said a few weeks ago, the players have to stand up. They have to be counted and they have to be better.
“The manager can do so much, but then it is down to the players on the pitch to produce and probably collectively. It [the poor run of form] is a bit of everything coming together, but Jose is an easy target. Some of the players have to be better.”