Jose Mourinho has accused some of his players of lacking the mental strength to succeed at Manchester United.
Boss Mourinho said there are men within his squad who simply cannot cut it at a club of the Reds’ stature, and admits he has been stuck with them.
Although the Special One did not name individuals, uppermost in his mind will have been the likes of Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind, all of whom are set to leave this summer.
And in a scathing description of his current squad, Mourinho admitted there are players in it who will NEVER be able to help bridge the huge points gap between his Reds and new champions Manchester City.
“How many points separate us from City?” he said. “Not two, three or four. A lot of points.
“I trust some more than others that can bridge that gap. I know the players. I worked with the players for a couple of years. I know them better than anyone.
“Some of the players, I’m totally convinced are going to make it. Some others, I have good hopes they’re going to make it. Some others, I don’t believe they’re going to make it.
“Some of the people we have, they have to be more consistent in their performance and we need more quality.
“But you have to keep players you don’t love – when I say love, I say it in football terms – and players you don’t totally believe have the level of the squad. In my squad, I have some players where I would like to have better than what I have.
“You have to try to succeed in getting every player to have the same mentality as I have.
“To have the same mentality as I have is to face every game in the same way.
“I am not afraid to play against the big teams and I respect the small teams. I prepare a match against a big team in the same way I prepare a match against a small team.”
United have lost to all three promoted sides this season — 2-1 at Huddersfield in October, February’s 1-0 away to Newcastle and another single-goal defeat in Brighton on Friday. It’s the first time that has happened to them since 1989-90.
Mourinho, speaking before Thursday’s trip to West Ham for the penultimate league game of the season, said that statistic was indicative of big problems within his squad.
“When you lose against all the teams that were promoted, it doesn’t smell right to me,” he said.
“I think ‘right’ is when you lose one day against the big team, maybe because they’re better than you, and you lose against the small team on another day because you didn’t perform well.”