Lukaku out to impress 'real' Mourinho

By Sports Desk September 14, 2018

Romelu Lukaku has defended Jose Mourinho against criticism suggesting the Manchester United manager is too tough with his players. 

Lukaku hit a brace as United bounced back to winning ways at Burnley before the international break, but Mourinho's men are six points off the top of the Premier League table following defeats to Tottenham and Brighton and Hove Albion.

Mourinho has been forced to deny a rift with star midfielder Paul Pogba, while his handling of Luke Shaw last season raised eyebrows, although the left-back has since earned an England recall.

And Lukaku feels Mourinho's approach with players is the right one to take as United seek to launch a title challenge having finished 19 points behind neighbours Manchester City last term.

"People know a side from him which is he's a winner," Lukaku told BBC Sport. "But what I like about him is he's not going to fake his emotions. When he's mad, you know he is mad. When he's happy, you see he is happy.

"I don't understand why people don't like the realness about him. When he's mad at me I know he is mad at me, and I try to do what he wants so he is happy again.

"Sometimes footballers, we get soft a little bit. If I listen to players from back in the day and now, a manager cannot say what he wants to a player because you feel attacked.

"But I don't feel attacked, because that's who I am - I am a tough man, but that doesn't come from football, that comes from my background.

"My relationship with him is cool. He makes me laugh, he makes the players laugh, he's a real family guy. He fights for his players, but he's real. When you're not happy, you don't need to fake your emotions.

"People need to appreciate that, at least there are people who are real in this world like him. Because most of the managers in the league, when they are not happy they try to find a way to seem happy.

"You should respect that he wants to keep his own personality and not shy away from confrontation. Here, he really wants us to improve. He is a normal guy, we get along well. He is cool with everybody."

Lukaku struck 18 Premier League goals in his first United season after signing from Everton, while he helped Belgium to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup with four goals at Russia 2018.

But the striker continues to strive for improvement despite racking up 104 Premier League goals at the age of 25.

"I try to look at as many games as I can from the season before, the mistakes I have done and the points I can improve on," Lukaku added. "In the first week, we come in and analyse what I want to work on throughout the season.

"The reason I score more and more goals, season after season, is I know my mistakes from the past, I know my strengths and I work on my strengths, but the little points I want to get better and it's constant.

"Football is what, 15 years? I want to invest 100% of my life into the game, so when it's all said and done, I don't want to have regrets."

Related items

  • Guardiola eyeing future international job Guardiola eyeing future international job

    Pep Guardiola would like to move on to international management at some point, believing a football career is too short not to embrace new challenges.

    The Manchester City manager has enjoyed incredible success at club level, winning 24 major trophies, 14 of those coming at Barcelona, where he lifted the Champions League twice.

    With success in Europe's top club competition having deserted him at Bayern Munich and so far at City, Guardiola would appear to still have unfinished business at club level.

    However, the Spaniard is keen to make the switch to the international scene when he feels a change of pace is necessary.

    Speaking at the University of Liverpool: "I would like to be an international manager in a national team. I would like that, yes.

    "It will happen because every three days I would like to be involved but a little bit more calm, play more golf, now I don't have time to play.

    "Sooner or later it is going to happen, if I have chance with an international team, if they come knocking at my door."

    Guardiola feels experiencing different cultures in a football career is a must, adding: "You travel. At the ending stages of my football career and after like a manager. It's incredible. I lived for six months in Mexico and in Qatar as well, an Arabic country.

    "As a manager I've lived in Germany and now here. I learned German when before it was impossible to understand. My family didn't speak a word of English and now they speak perfectly.

    "It's incredible to travel. I encourage people to do it. You have to move. I encourage my players to do the same.

    "Be curious to do something. The football career is too short not to. You will wake up one morning and say 'wow, it's over'. Time moves quickly."

  • Premier League: Brexit should not be used to weaken squads Premier League: Brexit should not be used to weaken squads

    The Premier League has strongly rejected a proposal that the number of foreign players playing in England's top flight should be reduced.

    The United Kingdom is in the process of leaving the European Union, with little clarity on how Brexit will affect football in the country.

    Reports emerged the Football Association (FA) was proposing a reduction in the number of foreign players allowed at a club from 17 to 13.

    It is suggested this would have a beneficial impact on England's national team, which reached the World Cup semi-finals and Nations League Finals this year.

    But in a lengthy statement released on Wednesday, the Premier League indicated any attempt to change legislation on the issue will be blocked.

    "The Premier League has held a range of conversations with government and stakeholders regarding the impact on British football of the UK leaving the European Union," the Premier League statement read.

    "We currently operate rules that limit the number of non-homegrown players clubs can have in senior squads, while also working with clubs to operate a world-leading player development system which delivers for England teams at every level.

    "This was demonstrated by the many Premier League club Academy and senior players whom FA coaches moulded so well into Under-17 and Under-20 World Cup winners and men's 2018 World Cup semi-finalists.

    "There is no evidence that stronger quotas than exist now would have a positive impact on national teams.

    "We approach this matter in the interests of British football as a whole and have held positive discussions with the English Football League and the Scottish Professional Football League, who both agree that Brexit should not be used to weaken playing squads in British football, nor to harm clubs' ability to sign international players."

    The statement noted Premier League football generates £3.3billion per season in taxes while clubs employ 12,000 full-time staff.

    "We have a positive working relationship with the FA and will continue to have constructive discussions with them, and other stakeholders," the statement concluded.

  • Lewandowski back in Bayern training as Davies joins new team-mates Lewandowski back in Bayern training as Davies joins new team-mates

    Robert Lewandowski has returned to full training with Bayern Munich following a knee injury, with Alphonso Davies joining his team-mates for the first time.

    Poland striker Lewandowski sat out Tuesday's session with a knee injury but joined his colleagues ahead of Bayern's home game against Fortuna Dusseldorf in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

    Kingsley Coman and Arjen Robben also joined in training as they recover from ankle and knee injuries respectively, with Davies' arrival giving coach Niko Kovac a boost.

    The teenage winger has joined from Vancouver Whitecaps and will be available to play for Bayern after the Bundesliga's winter break.

    "My first impressions of the training ground were great," said Davies. "As a kid I dreamed of being part of such a big club.

    "Now I am and it's unbelievable. I'm very excited and looking forward to my time. I want to prove myself every day in training and work hard."

    Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic indicated Davies will be ready to make his Bayern debut in January.

    "We're excited about him," he told Bayern's website. "I'm sure he'll develop here at Bayern and help us. I wish him the best of luck and success."

    Kovac could also have Thiago Alcantara back in his squad soon as the Spain midfielder completed laps at Bayern's training ground for the first time since tearing ankle ligaments last month.

    "The first circuits around the pitch on Wednesday are a good step towards his comeback," Bayern said in a medical update on the club website.

SportsMax Zone

Latest Tweets

There will be a new Manning Cup champion in Jamaica this year. See story here: https://t.co/qM6WbUtHhz… https://t.co/zYbM9Osoyb
Cedella Marley and Island Trinketz have partnered to raise funds for the Reggae Girlz. See story here:… https://t.co/TvzIusdHGf
#Dybala of #Juventus greets a child in a wheelchair in a heartwarming moment. #ChampionsLeague ⚽ action continues… https://t.co/CtKtgibPsE
Follow SportsMax on Twitter
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.