The Red Devils boss admits his team have not scored enough this season and says they need to be more clinical in front of goal
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has told his attacking players they have to start scoring more goals, although he does not think Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the main culprit.
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Mourinho’s men have drawn three straight Premier League matches, leaving them sixth in the table, four points adrift of the top four.
Their 33 goals from 23 top-flight games is the lowest tally in the top seven, with Wednesday’s 0-0 draw against Hull City leaving the manager extremely frustrated.
While Mourinho excuses top goalscorer Ibrahimovic from blame – particularly due to the club’s lack of penalties this season – he wants more from his other key creative players, starting with the trip to play champions Leicester City on Sunday.
“I think we attack so much and with so many players,” Mourinho said at his pre-match news conference.
“So many players have the freedom in our dynamic to reach scoring positions. We don’t score enough goals and some of our players from these attacking creative positions could and should score more goals.
“When you see the number of goals we score, there is not a true relation between our attacking production and the number of goals we will score.
“When you speak about Zlatan goals you should always add 14 goals – he has had one penalty in 31 matches played in England in all the competitions, so you should always add that extra.”
Jose Mourinho on Leicester v #MUFC : “They are a good team. It is a difficult match for us but also for them.” pic.twitter.com/4dnsOcXVet
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) 3 February 2017
Mourinho, though, feels none of United’s recent draws have been deserved in what have been dominant performances.
“We never had a draw where we could say we were lucky or got more than we deserved – always less,” he said. “But the reality is the points and we lost two points [against Hull].
“We are in the same position we were before that game. We didn’t get the three points as we wanted, it is as simple as that – a bad result.
“We do what we have wanted for a long time – try to win the next match. Every draw we have deserved a victory.”
Phil Jones (foot) is United’s only injury to face a Leicester team who have only won twice in 14 league matches and sit just two points clear of the relegation zone.
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But Mourinho defended Claudio Ranieri’s side, adding: “What Leicester did last season is one of the biggest things in the world of football.
“Nobody – even them – would expect to be champions again. What they did was unique, so unique. I didn’t think it would be possible to do it for a second season, especially playing in the Champions League at the same time.
“It’s a very difficult match for us and I think also a very difficult match for them. But total respect for what they did and total respect for the change of life they are experiencing. I think next season will be much better for them again.”