Jose Mourinho must “loosen the shackles” on Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez if Manchester United are to win the FA Cup, says Paul Ince.
There is the argument that the Red Devils have struggled to bring the best out of their creative players on a consistent basis this season.
That has led to criticism of Mourinho’s methods, with the Portuguese accused of being overly cautious and favouring a defensive mindset.
Ince wants to see that philosophy changed, starting against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, with United needing to grant freedom to their star turns in order for them to flourish.
The former Red Devils midfielder told Paddy Power: "Jose must loosen the shackles if he wants to lift the trophy. United getting the win is as much going to be down to Mourinho as it is his players.
"If he actually loosens the shackles, and allows players like Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez to play freely, then he will get the result. We saw that against Tottenham in the semi-final and City in the derby.
"If he doesn’t, and he plays negatively, we will not doubt see another boring game and it will be down to Mourinho if he loses it.
"Chelsea have been hideous recently and it appears Antonio Conte has checked out. They should aim to smash three or four past them, rather than taking it easy. I’d say Chelsea are there for the taking."
United may need Pogba or Sanchez to provide the inspiration against Chelsea, with 27-goal top scorer Romelu Lukaku still nursing an ankle problem.
It may be that he is only fit enough to start on the bench, which will leave Mourinho in the unfortunate position of having to lead the line with strikers he has been less than complimentary about in recent weeks.
Ince added: "If Lukaku can’t play, that will be interesting to see because of Mourinho’s recent comments when Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford featured.
"He pretty much suggested that they were at fault for the team’s performances – and to me that was a crazy thing to say.
"It doesn’t exactly give your players confidence when heading into a cup final, or indeed when the summer transfer window is opening.”