English Premiership

Mourinho backs misfiring Ibrahimovic

2016-11-05 07:18
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Getty Images)

Manchester - Embattled Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho launched a stirring defence of his misfiring Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Friday.

The 35-year-old Swede has scored just once in 11 games after starting brilliantly for his new club -- where he was reunited with Mourinho after they were together at Inter Milan -- following a highly successful spell with Paris Saint Germain.

Ibrahimovic, who made little impact in Thursday's Europa League 2-1 defeat by Fenerbahce, except for grabbing an opponent's throat, gets another chance to end his drought against Premier League strugglers Swansea on Sunday.

United will hope so as they are winless in four games and eight points off the leading trio of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool after 10 matches.

"He is playing well for the team," said Mourinho, who will have to watch Sunday's game from the stands as he serves a one-match touchline ban for being sent off during last Saturday's 0-0 draw with Burnley.

"He's creating a lot of chances, he is missing a lot of goals.

"If I remember Stoke, Liverpool, Chelsea, Burnley, he missed a lot of goals but he was fantastic in his dynamic, his working, his building up for the team, he was fantastic.

"Today I cannot say the same but in every match in the Premier League, even not scoring goals he's being fantastic.

"His attitude is always brilliant. He's not a guy afraid of his responsibility, so no problem at all."

Mourinho also pleaded with his players to stand up and be counted and assume leadership on the pitch.

The players were lambasted by Mourinho after the 2-1 Europa League defeat by Fenerbahce, undone by an early goal just as they were in the humiliating 4-0 defeat by Mourinho's old club Chelsea last month.

"It can happen everywhere," said Mourinho of their habit of conceding early goals.

"There are so many examples in football where people score goals in the first minutes. Nobody is free of that.

"But with a stronger attitude, leadership on the pitch, defenders in control of the emotion and the organisation, it's easier to be strong, it's easier to be solid."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
11 December 2016
Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion, Stamford Bridge 14:00
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Old Trafford 16:15
Southampton v Middlesbrough, St. Mary's Stadium 16:15
Liverpool v West Ham United, Anfield 18:30
13 December 2016
Everton v Arsenal, Goodison Park 21:45
AFC Bournemouth v Leicester City, Vitality Stadium 21:45
14 December 2016
West Ham United v Burnley, London Stadium 21:45
Middlesbrough v Liverpool, Riverside Stadium 21:45
Sunderland v Chelsea, Stadium of Light 21:45
Stoke City v Southampton, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Manchester City v Watford, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Crystal Palace v Manchester United, Selhurst Park 22:00
West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City, The Hawthorns 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Hull City, White Hart Lane 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.