Chris Smalling: Manchester United suffering from a lack of confidence

29 November, 2018, 07:13 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • Mourinho Face the pressure or stay at home

Southampton have not won since September 1 - a run stretching to nine games - but defender Targett has studied United's matches and thinks Mark Hughes can oversee a crucial victory to ease the pressure on his own position.

It was hardly the inspiring response United had hoped for after Saturday's tepid 0-0 draw with strugglers Crystal Palace, but Mourinho still used the Group H win as a chance to stick two fingers up at the doubters.

But there was little for Mourinho to brag about from another laboured performance as United were on the verge of failing to score for a third consecutive European home game for the first time ever.

Luke Shaw has not had an easy ride at Manchester United.

It took a 91st minute strike from Fellaini to settle a nervy game, his effort finding the bottom corner. But there can be no arguing with the fact it has proven effective on numerous occasions for United. We can get at them and hopefully we can start turning things around.

It would seem that Marouane Fellaini's "break-glass" capabilities know no bounds.

"Relief", Mourinho said of his celebrations.

Victor Lindelof right limps off after United's draw with Crystal Palace
Victor Lindelof right limps off after United’s draw with Crystal Palace

But Lindelof's resurgence after a slow start to life at United has been derailed by a muscle issue, meaning Mourinho's remaining centre-back options are Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones. The main issue is that he is almost always the guy they turn to when chasing a goal AND defending a goal.

Reports over the last month have claimed the Spaniard was reluctant to commit his future to Man United amid uncertainty surrounding the club's capacity to compete for major honours over the next few years. However, while that remains the case, Mourinho should continue to use his unique weapon, and he surely will.

But that does not mean the decision should not be questioned, as Mourinho seems to allude.

Doing so is on page one of any coaching manual. "If you can not deal with that, that's a big problem".

The Spain global made an incredible save to prevent Young Boys substitute Ulisses Garcia from putting the Swiss champions in front at Old Trafford before Marouane Fellaini scored a stoppage-time victor to send United into the last-16 of the Champions League.

José's Mourinho's use of Marouane Fellaini is both justified and inspired.

Marcus Rashford, one of their livelier players, was also their most wasteful, missing five opportunities, including an outstanding one in the opening five minutes.

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