Jose Mourinho acknowledged he has little perception of Manchester United fans’ attitudes towards him because he is not in contact with them.
United find themselves in a difficult position, having won just three of their past nine Premier League matches heading into Wednesday’s visit of in-form Arsenal. Their most recent outing saw them stutter to a 2-2 draw at struggling Southampton, a match in which they had to come back from two goals down. United fans are becoming increasingly frustrated with Mourinho’s tactics, selections and comments about certain players. But Mourinho claimed ignorance to the fans’ opinions, admitting he has little relationship with them. “My life is not a life of very public life,” Mourinho said in Tuesday’s pre-match news conference. “I’m not a person that is all the time in the street or in contact with the fans, not really.” Things do not get much easier for United and Mourinho, as Unai Emery’s Arsenal travel to Old Trafford on the back of an impressive morale-boosting 4-2 north London derby win over Tottenham. Emery has been applauded for his swift impact at Arsenal and, while Mourinho accepted things have changed at the Emirates, he is convinced they are helped by being in the Europa League and vowed his team will give them a thorough test. “Yes, it [the perception of Arsenal] is different, but it’s not for me to do that analysis, I have my opinion, but I keep it for myself,” he added. “It’s different yes, and a very difficult match for us because we are going to play against a good team in a good moment without an accumulation of matches, because they are playing in the Europa League and when you play Europa League you normally play with second choices and give good rests to the [first-team] players. “We have to play to the maximum and with an accumulation of matches, and then you arrive in this moment in December and many teams pay the price of that. “That [playing in a competition like the Europa League] is not the motivation you want as a team as a club, but to develop players fresher is a good way to do it, and when you have good results in the Europa League. “But it’s a very difficult match for us and also very difficult match for them, in spite of our problems with players and with selection of the team, I am pretty sure they know it won’t be easy either.”