Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has helped to ease the burden upon his big-name players through his defiant attitude towards his critics, according to midfielder Nemanja Matic.
The Red Devils have endured a mixed start to the season, with defeats to Brighton and Tottenham, but returned to winning ways over the weekend with a 2-0 victory over Burnley.
Mourinho has faced robust criticism over his side’s form in recent weeks, and the Portuguese’s erratic self-proclamations as “one of the greatest managers in the world” had been judged to have all the hallmarks of a man in crisis.
However Matic, who previously won the Premier League under Mourinho at Chelsea, believes that the 55-year-old’s outspoken defence of his achievements has helped lift pressure off the squad by diverting the limelight away from them.
“He knows what he is doing, for sure,” the Serbia international told MUTV. “It’s good for us. He is one of the best managers in the world, you know what he won in his career so that shows you everything.”
“I think he is dealing very well with the pressure. That is why he is here in Manchester United. I don’t see any difference.”
Following United’s defeat to Spurs – their second in a row – Mourinho had demanded “respect” from his critics in listing the contents of his trophy cabinet, before quoting philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel to further strengthen that his credentials should be viewed collectively.
Following a transfer window that saw the club fail to complete what he saw as key business, the former Inter and Real Madrid manager roundly criticised executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, though his stance had softened enough to offer his support following victory at Burnley.
With four games gone, United lie in 10th, well off the mark of league leaders Liverpool and champions Manchester City, but Matic is not unduly worried about their title chances slipping away in the first two months of the season.
“They all have to win all of their games,” the 30-year-old added, addressing their rivals for the Premier League trophy. “I think that's not possible. Someone has to lose and drop the points.
“It's still too early to say something. We will see in March where we are, because in March you can see who is fighting for the title, who is not and who is fighting for the top four, so it's still too early.”