What Mourinho must do to ensure Man United build on recent wins
Dave Burin | 17 September 2018
Red Devils back on course for top-four tilt
After some miserable results on the pitch and a mood of unease around the club in the early weeks of the season, Manchester United appear to be back on track.
Jose Mourinho’s men have won each of their last two games, defeating Burnley (2-0) and previously unbeaten Watford (2-1) on the road.
United now face three games in the next eight days – in the Champions League, Premier League and Carabao Cup.
Ahead of that busy schedule, the Coral News Team look at how Mourinho can continue his side’s upturn in form…
He can’t be scared to axe Sanchez
The Alexis Sanchez saga is not an easy one for Mourinho to solve. Having pinned his hopes on the Chilean just eight months ago, dropping Sanchez could well come across as the abrasive gaffer admitting his mistake.
However, keeping the 29-year-old in the team instead of Anthony Martial currently looks like a real act of folly.
Despite playing 84 minutes at Vicarage Road on Saturday, he managed only one key pass and a solitary shot. Having managed just one goal in his last 11 United outings, and just a single assist so far this term, he’s virtually a wasted presence out wide.
It’s time for Mourinho to either reinstate Martial or else move away from a front three.
Instilling discipline a key priority
United have ended each of their last two games with 10 men – and on both occasions, it was utterly avoidable.
The Red Devils spent the last 20 minutes at Turf Moor a man down after Marcus Rashford reacted badly to the attentions of wily Burnley man Phil Bardsley.
The vitally important Nemanja Matic then grabbed a needless second yellow card in the final stages at Watford.
Whilst Mourinho has done plenty to add steel to a United side who looked suspiciously lightweight under Louis van Gaal, they need to find a balance.
They have the makings of a tough, imposing side – but the Portuguese boss must be wary of his side’s determination bubbling over into rashness.
Red Devils need to go for the jugular
Whilst United haven’t yet dropped points from winning positions this term, they’ve avoided that fate pretty narrowly.
In the games against Leicester and Watford, the Red Devils have sat back on a 2-0 lead – only to concede. At Vicarage Road, they found themselves on the ropes in the final stages, against a Hornets side who could have been put to the sword.
In all of their three wins so far, United were well on top and would very likely have racked up a third goal to kill the game off had they gone for it.
However, the instructions have clearly been to sit deeper – with even United’s front men dipping into midfield in the latter stages at Watford.
Simply put, the United manager has the makings of an excellent side beneath him. But he needs to give them more free rein to keep pushing forward when they’re on top in games.
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