With Zinedine Zidane on thin ice, a familiar face could return to Real Madrid.

Pressure is mounting on Zidane following Madrid's shock LaLiga loss to Real Mallorca on Saturday, a result that means they sit behind Barcelona in the table.

Former Madrid head coach Mourinho could be the answer to their problems…

 

TOP STORY – MADRID REACH OUT TO MOU

Real Madrid have contacted Jose Mourinho as pressure mounts on head coach Zinedine Zidane, according to El Chiringuito.

Zidane – in his second spell in charge after winning three successive Champions League titles prior to leaving ahead of the 2018-19 season – has failed to convince upon his return to the LaLiga giants.

And ex-Manchester United manager Mourinho, who spent three years in the Spanish capital – winning the 2011-12 LaLiga title, is reportedly wanted by Madrid president Florentino Perez.

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- Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman could move to Barcelona in 2020. After Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) sporting director Nico-Jan Hoogma confirmed Koeman has a specific release clause in his contract built around his former club, Marca has linked the ex-Barca defender to Camp Nou.

Real Madrid are pushing to sign Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Salzburg teenager Erling Haaland, claims El Desmarque. Sancho has been heavily linked to Manchester United.

- Calciomercato says Arsenal are favourites to sign RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano. The 20-year-old was linked to the Gunners before the transfer window closed.

Inter are tracking Atalanta's Swedish teenager Dejan Kulusevski, reports Calciomercato. The 19-year-old is attracting interest during his loan spell at Parma, where he has scored two goals and supplied five assists in Serie A.

- According to SPORT, Barcelona are interested in two Bundesliga players. While Bayer Leverkusen sensation Kai Havertz is coveted, the LaLiga champions are also keeping an eye on Schalke's Amine Harit.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp "didn't like the menu" Manchester United served up in a 1-1 Premier League draw at Old Trafford on Sunday, according to Jose Mourinho.

Marcus Rashford scored at the end of a counter-attack to put United ahead in the 36th minute, with the goal controversially upheld by VAR despite Liverpool claiming Victor Lindelof fouled Divock Origi in the build-up.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side continued to frustrate the leaders, who saw a potential equaliser from Sadio Mane ruled out following a video review, but were unable to hold on for a win as Adam Lallana tapped in with five minutes remaining.

Former United boss Mourinho felt Solskjaer's game plan and three-man defence troubled Klopp, with Liverpool unable to match a Premier League record with an 18th win in succession.

"[Klopp] didn't like the menu - he wanted meat and got fish," Mourinho said on Sky Sports.

"They are happy playing against opposition who give chances on the counter-attack. Of course, United, with the limitations they have at the moment, played a different profile of game.

"They tried to stop the transition, played always with three centre-backs in position, always compact. Liverpool didn't like the menu.

"Liverpool missed the quality to play against a low block. I have to admit I'm really happy they didn't win because the other record [Chelsea's nine-match winning streak to start a season in 2005-06] is mine, not theirs.

"Sometimes they have limitations against teams with the low block. They have fantastic results but sometimes they win just in the limits.

"They can smash opponents who play the way they want to play against. Jurgen, clearly a bit of frustration. Old Trafford is a special place for Liverpool to win but he's never done it."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has backed Jose Mourinho to prove a success in his next position, but the ex-Barcelona striker remains less enamoured with Pep Guardiola.

Mourinho and Ibrahimovic forged a strong bond during spells together at Inter and Manchester United.

The divisive former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss has not held a managerial job since parting ways with United in December 2018 but appears to be edging closer to a coaching comeback.

Mourinho recently rejected the chance to hold talks with Lyon as he "has already chosen another club," the Ligue 1 side's president, Jean-Michel Aulas, said earlier this month.

Ibrahimovic is adamant the Portuguese's next employers will enjoy the best of his abilities.

"He had an incredible impact on my career," the LA Galaxy striker told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He is still 'the Special One', a winner. I hope he will back on a bench soon and I am sure he will start winning immediately."

Guardiola, however, does not occupy the same place in Ibrahimovic's heart.

The pair shared a famously dysfunctional relationship over the course of the Swede's single season with Barca, which featured 16 LaLiga goals and a title triumph.

"We never had a direct confrontation because of him," Ibrahimovic said of Guardiola, who is now in charge of Manchester City.

"When we faced each other, he hid. He waited for me to leave and then left the dressing room. As a coach he is a phenomenon, but as a man..."

London is still something of a home for Jose Mourinho and another job in the English capital could be on the horizon for the ex-Chelsea manager.

With Tottenham struggling for form and reports of discontent in the dressing room, Mauricio Pochettino's position is far from certain.

Mourinho has been out of a job since he was sacked by Manchester United in December and the Portuguese is reportedly waiting in the wings.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS SOUND OUT MOURINHO

Tottenham have made contact with Jose Mourinho amid uncertainty over manager Mauricio Pochettino, reports SoccerLink.

Pochettino's future in London is up in the air following Tottenham's poor start to the season, highlighted by a humiliating 7-2 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich.

While Pochettino is not facing the sack, Spurs have sounded out Mourinho about whether the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss would be interested.

 

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- While Spurs target Mourinho, Manchester United appear to be closing in on Massimiliano Allegri. With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struggling at Old Trafford, the Daily Mail reports ex-Juventus boss Allegri is preparing for the job and wants Patrice Evra to join him in Manchester.

Real Madrid will play the waiting game for Kylian Mbappe as Marca claims the Spanish giants have set a 2021 target date of trying to sign the Paris Saint-Germain star.

- According to Le10Sport, Atletico Madrid will look to sign Paris Saint-Germain veteran Edinson Cavani to a pre-contract agreement in January. Cavani's deal runs out at season's end and the Uruguay striker has been linked to Juventus and incoming MLS franchise Inter Miami.

- ESPN FC says Manchester United are ready to spend during the January transfer window following their poor start to the campaign. United are languishing in 12th after the departures of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera.

Bayern Munich are tracking Freiburg star Luca Waldschmidt, claims Calciomercato. The 23-year-old forward made his debut for Germany this month.

- According to Tuttosport, AC Milan want €20million-rated Turkey international Mehmet Zeki Celik from Lille. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Rossoneri are also interested in a January move for Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny, who is on loan at Besiktas.

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has revealed he remains in touch with Jose Mourinho and occasionally speaks to his former manager after matches.

Mourinho handed McTominay his Premier League debut in May 2017 and gave him an expanded role in the first team the following season.

The divisive ex-Chelsea and Real Madrid boss left Old Trafford last December but McTominay has continued to blossom, his performances a beacon of hope in the club's otherwise dismal start to the new campaign.

Mourinho once described the Scotland international as a "special character" and the admiration is mutual.

"He still keeps in contact with me now and keeps in touch after some games," McTominay told Sky Sports.

"He'll always have a special place in mine and my family's heart because he's the one who brought you in, he was the one who trusted you, he was the one who had belief in you.

"I owe a tremendous amount of credit to him because if it wasn't for him I might not necessarily be sitting in this seat."

McTominay has started all eight of United's Premier League fixtures this season.

He will have a big part to play if the struggling Red Devils are to gain a result at home to leaders Liverpool on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho says Brazil icon Ronaldo is the best player he has ever seen.

The Portuguese was assistant coach to Bobby Robson during the striker's stunning 1996-97 season with Barcelona when he scored 47 goals in 49 appearances across all competitions.

Ronaldo went on to enjoy goal-laden spells at Inter and Real Madrid and fired Brazil to a fifth World Cup triumph in 2002 before hanging up his boots in 2011. 

Mourinho coached Cristiano Ronaldo for three years at Madrid and has watched Barca forward Lionel Messi throughout his career, with the two players considered to be among the greatest of all time.

But while conceding the pair have sustained their brilliance over longer periods, Mourinho - who has been out of a job since his departure from Manchester United in December - says no-one can touch Ronaldo for pure "talent and skill".

When asked by LiveScore who the best player he had seen was, Mourinho said: "Ronaldo.

"Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have had longer careers; they have remained at the top every day for 15 years. However, if we are talking strictly about talent and skill, nobody surpasses Ronaldo.

"When he was at Barcelona with Bobby Robson, I realised that he was the best player I'd ever seen take to the field. Injuries killed a career that could have been even more incredible, but the talent that that 19-year-old boy had was something incredible.

"In 1997, Barcelona played against PSG in Rotterdam and Ronaldo's goal, 1-0. Awesome."

Marouane Fellaini believes Manchester United were rash in their decision to sack Jose Mourinho and feels his former club lack long-term vision.

United parted company with Mourinho in December 2018 after two and a half years in charge of the club.

Mourinho was replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, initially on a caretaker basis and then full-time - the Red Devils' fourth permanent appointment since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Mourinho have all tried and ultimately failed to emulate the success of Ferguson, but Fellaini - who played under each of those bosses - wonders whether they could have been given more time.

"They brought in Moyes - they didn't give him time," said Fellaini, according to several English newspapers. "They brought in Van Gaal - they gave him two years and we started to do some things, he won the cup, but after that they sacked the manager because they want to win quickly.

"For me the club were too quick to sack Jose because a manager like that comes and he needs a lot of players to do his own philosophy.

"He wanted to build his team but after two years and a half they decided to sack him because the results were not there.

"That's the problem - they have to find a solution together. A manager like Van Gaal tactically is very strong and a lot of experience and they sacked him."

Mourinho won the EFL Cup and Europa League in his first season at Old Trafford, but a trophyless second campaign preceded a poor start to 2018-19, leading to his sacking.

"It's not easy to build a team in that time - you need more than two years," said Fellaini, who left United for Shandong Luneng in February.

"They brought in one of the best managers in the world in Jose Mourinho, he wanted to build a team and they sacked him.

"I don't know what they will do with Ole. Mourinho, for the first season, he did amazingly, he improved the team, won things.

"OK the second season was a bit more difficult, but he tried and did his best to help the team."

United have changed philosophy under Solskjaer, who has favoured using young and hungry players during his 10 months at the helm.

Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were signed during the close season, along with the more widely travelled Harry Maguire, but United have made a poor start to the campaign and Fellaini fears a lack of experienced options is holding them back.

"Now you have a new manager, they wanted young players and that's what happens when you play with just young players - they will be up and down, up and down, that's football," Fellaini said.

"Of course, in football you can't play with just young players, you need a mix. I think to win games, to win titles, to win big games you need experience. Of course you can win with young players but not every game."

Jose Mourinho rejected the chance to hold talks with Lyon regarding their vacant head coach position because he has "already chosen another" team, according to the Ligue 1 club's president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Mourinho has been out of work since December last year, when he was sacked by Manchester United following a run of poor results.

The Portuguese coach has this season made regular television appearances as a pundit, widely attracting acclaim for his insight, demeanour and analysis.

Lyon sacked Sylvinho on Monday after just one win in his last nine matches at the helm and Aulas had identified Mourinho as a target, though the former Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid boss apparently turned them down on account of having another job lined up.

"We had some fairly flattering exchanges over text," Aulas told reporters via a telephone news conference.

"It was nice for everyone. He did not accept our proposal to meet because he has already chosen another club."

Sylvinho's arrival coincided with the return of club icon Juninho Pernambucano as sporting director in pre-season.

Aulas confirmed the decision to dismiss the former Manchester City and Barcelona defender came from Juninho, with Sylvinho's perceived negative brand of football doing little to endear himself.

"It was indeed Juninho who took the decision to change coach, he even had this view a little earlier on," Aulas said. "He is going to continue to take responsibility on the football side in the same way.

"He is a boy who breathes football. In the first matches, he detected a certain number of problems. It is he who explained his decision to Sylvinho.

"I didn't know of him [Sylvinho] before Juninho told me about him. The defensive style he offered created a destabilising effect in terms of the normal attacking style of Lyon. We made a mistake, but in general we don't make a mistake twice."

While Aulas seemed to confirm Patrick Vieira will not be considered as he is under contract at Nice, Remi Garde – who coached Lyon between 2011 and 2014 – is an option.

"He hasn't been contacted yet, but that is a possible route. For the moment, talks haven't happened, but maybe they will," Aulas added.

As pressure builds on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, there is speculation Manchester United are already looking around for future managers.

According to reports, one such potential candidate is a man making waves in the Bundesliga, now with RB Leipzig.

Even though Solskjaer appears to have the backing of United's hierarchy, the time might come to look to the future - just like the club's former manager Jose Mourinho, who has his eye on a comeback.

 

TOP STORY - UNITED CONSIDER NAGELSMANN

Manchester United are interested in Julian Nagelsmann as a future manager, according to the Daily Mail.

Just 32, Nagelsmann has impressed in the Bundesliga, initially with Hoffenheim and this season at RB Leipzig.

Although Ole Solskjaer still has support at the club despite their worst league start for 30 years, it is reported by the newspaper that United are "gathering information" on Nagelsmann with a view to a future approach to take charge of the first team.

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- Jose Mourinho, is plotting a Premier League return and is keeping an eye on Mauricio Pochettino's situation at Tottenham, according to the Daily Mail.

- Whatever happens with the United manager job, transfer plans for next year are already being drawn up. The big names being eyed for next season are Kalidou Koulibaly and Declan RiceGoal reports.

- In Italy, Juventus have made it clear they will not sell Paulo Dybala in the January transfer window, Calciomercato says. Dybala was linked with United and Spurs in the previous window.

Gareth Bale, meanwhile, considers being left out of the Champions League draw with Club Brugge to be the final straw at Real Madrid, and he wants out next year, AS claims.

- Finally, in more news concerning United bosses of the past, the Mirror and the Daily Mail say there is a growing chance David Moyes could return to Everton if the under-fire Marco Silva is sacked, with the Scot now odds-on in some places to take charge again.

Jose Mourinho does not expect his next coaching position to be in Italy despite the phenomenal success he masterminded while at Inter.

The 56-year-old won five major honours during his two seasons at San Siro, including a historic treble in 2010 that culminated in a 2-0 win against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

Mourinho hinted after that victory at the Santiago Bernabeu it would be his last match in charge and he officially departed less than a week later to take over at Real Madrid.

He lasted three years at Madrid and has since endured similarly mixed fortunes at Chelsea and Manchester United, being sacked by the latter last December.

A number of clubs have been linked with Mourinho in the nine months since, including former employers Inter prior to their appointment of Antonio Conte in May, but he has no plans to return to Serie A.

"My future? I don't think it will be in Italy," he told Italian TV show Tiki Taka.

Opening up on his exit from Inter nine years ago, Mourinho said: "Inter is my home, my family. 

"[Massimo] Moratti is a friend, my president. The story of the treble was fantastic. 

"After [the final in] Madrid, if I returned to San Siro to celebrate, I would never leave Inter. When you say goodbye to a family it's a hard thing to deal with. 

"That night I already knew I was leaving, I couldn't say no to Real Madrid for the third time."

Inter have made a flying start to the season under Conte, with six wins from six to top Serie A ahead of next weekend's crunch clash against Juventus.

Christian Eriksen appears set to leave Tottenham and Manchester United could make it happen in January.

The Denmark international was linked with a move away from Spurs during the close season amid reported interest from Real Madrid, but ended up staying in North London.

However, with his contract expiring at season's end, United are said to be weighing up a deal.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UNITED CONSIDER ERIKSEN MOVE IN JANUARY

Manchester United are considering a January move for Spurs midfielder Eriksen, according to Goal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are struggling this season and could look to strengthen to begin 2020.

Madrid are also reportedly still interested in Eriksen, but may want to wait until the end of the season to bring in the Dane.

 

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- Pictured with Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar on Thursday, Arthur may have upset his club Barcelona. The LaLiga champions are unhappy with the midfielder after the night out, according to Marca.

- Staying at Camp Nou and Neymar seems to remain eager for a return to Barcelona. Cadena SER reports the forward would have dropped his lawsuit against the club if they promised to re-sign him next year. Neymar is in court against Barca fighting to be paid a bonus he believes he is owed from his contract signed in 2016.

- Jose Mourinho knows what he wants his next move to be. Having turned down numerous clubs since leaving Old Trafford, Mourinho wants a return to Real Madrid, according to Goal.

- Everton are apparently looking to sign Mario Gotze. The Borussia Dortmund attacker is out of contract at the end of the season and Augsburger Allgemeine says the Premier League club want to sign Gotze on a free transfer.

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof is not bothered about his former manager Jose Mourinho's recent criticism.

Mourinho, who signed Lindelof for United, was a television pundit during the Red Devils' 2-0 defeat to West Ham and was critical of the Sweden international.

He claimed Lindelof could be "bullied" by forwards due to being weak in aerial duels, echoing comments made by fellow pundit Gary Neville shortly before.

But Lindelof is relaxed about the comments, aware that such scrutiny is just a part of being a United player.

"For me it has never been a problem. I'm a very easy guy," he told Sky Sports. "There is always going to be someone talking or someone else.

"When you play for this club there is always going to be people criticising you and the way you play.

"For me it has never been a problem, even when I play good there is someone criticising me for something. It's part of the job, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

"I'm just trying to do my thing and I don't focus on those things. I didn't even notice, or know about it, before you told me. That's how I live my life and focus on my things.

"If you are playing for Manchester United, [scrutiny] is part of it. If you do not perform you hear about it, it's quite normal.

"I could see my future here so that's why I signed a new contract - I'm really happy about that. We have a good thing going and I still want to win the big trophies with this club, that has been my goal since I signed."

Through much of Lindelof's time at United, there has been uncertainty at centre-back, with many players either suffering injuries or a lack of form.

In Harry Maguire, Lindelof appears to finally have a regular partner and he has been impressed with the England international's personality since United made him the world's most expensive defender.

"It feels good, Harry is a great player," Lindelof said. "We've only played six games together, so the partnership needs games to become better and better.

"We work hard and train every day together, we get to know each other more and more, that's always a good thing in a partnership. Hopefully we can develop and become better.

"He's a great person off the pitch as well. It's very easy to be around him and talk to him. He shows that on the pitch too, he has that leadership and makes it easy for everyone else to lead from his example. That's also what I am trying to do on the pitch."

Lionel Messi is "the best player in history" according to LaLiga president Javier Tebas, who hailed the Barcelona superstar. 

Messi claimed The Best FIFA Men's Player award for the first time, ahead of Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo in Milan on Monday.

A five-time Ballon d'Or winner, captain Messi has celebrated a club-record 34 titles at Barcelona, where he emerged in 2004.

Debate as to who is the greatest player is often centred on Messi, Ronaldo, Diego Maradona and Pele, but Tebas has no doubts.

"He's the best player in history," Tebas said of Messi, who was substituted at half-time of Tuesday's 2-1 win over Villarreal due to an adductor problem. "We're lucky to have him in LaLiga.

"I cannot imagine a league without Messi. He was born in the Spanish league and I hope he ends [his career] here."

Tebas also discussed Neymar after the Paris Saint-Germain star was unable to complete a return to LaLiga champions Barca.

Neymar was keen to re-join Barca, two years after his world-record €222million move to PSG, but a transfer did not materialise.

"I would have liked Neymar to return to LaLiga," Tebas added. "And, as [Vicente] Del Bosque would say, to return with good behaviour!

"How can I not like that a player of that level is in LaLiga? Just as I would like [former Barca boss Pep] Guardiola or [ex-Real Madrid head coach Jose] Mourinho to train some Spanish soccer team. 

"We have to aspire to have the best. I hope that one day Neymar plays in a Spanish club."

Ernesto Valverde is facing a big week at Barcelona.

Valverde is under pressure early in the season after Barca slumped to a 2-0 loss at Granada to be left with just seven points from their opening five games of the LaLiga season.

Now, the next week is shaping as crucial for Valverde.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA PLAYERS LOSING CONFIDENCE IN VALVERDE

Several Barcelona players have started to lose confidence in Valverde, according to ESPN.

With seven points from five league games, Barcelona have made their worst start to a season since 1994-95.

Monday's cover of Sport says Valverde needs an urgent reaction, with his side hosting Villarreal on Tuesday and visiting Getafe four days later.

 

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Barcelona are keeping an eye on Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz. Barca's sporting director Eric Abidal was present as Fabian scored in Napoli's 4-1 win over Lecce on Saturday, according to Calciomercato.

AC Milan want to strengthen at right-back and are considering Tottenham defender Serge Aurier, according to Sportmediaset, amid suggestions Andrea Conti is struggling to impress.

Jose Mourinho has had chances to return to management and the former Real Madrid and Manchester United boss apparently turned down a surprise opportunity last year. Fichajes reports Boca Juniors tried to convince Mourinho to take over, but the Portuguese tactician said he was not yet ready to leave Europe.

Everton have made a slow start to the Premier League season and are assessing ways to strengthen their attack. The Daily Express reports they are interested in signing Yussuf Poulsen from RB Leipzig. The Denmark international scored 15 Bundesliga goals last season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Jose Mourinho has a right to voice his opinion on Manchester United after the former Red Devils boss strongly criticised their performance in a 2-0 Premier League loss at West Ham.

Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell scored to consign United to defeat at London Stadium, with Solskjaer's men without a win away from home in nine matches in all competitions.

Mourinho, appearing as a pundit for Sky Sports, said he could find no positives to take from United's display, adding: "We were bad last season, but I don't see any improvement this season."

Solskjaer, though, noted United were beaten on their previous visit to London Stadium, sliding to a 3-1 loss under Mourinho's leadership in September 2018.

"I think he's got a right to his opinion," Solskjaer told a news conference when asked about Mourinho's comments.

"We lost here last year, it's always a difficult ground to go to and we hoped to do better than we did. We hope for better.

"But the key moments they grasped and we didn't. I have to say, two fantastic finishes from two left feet. We just didn't take the chances when we had them.

"Of course, when you lose a game you're disappointed. It's a game that can go both ways, as you expect away from home in the Premier League.

"It's a good group to work with, they're determined. Sometimes along the road you hit some bumps, some highs and lows, this group is determined and they have desire. It's a good atmosphere in the dressing room and they've got their focus right."

Solskjaer confirmed Marcus Rashford - who has only scored once since a brace in the 4-0 win over Chelsea on opening weekend - needs a scan after he was taken off with a groin injury but could be out for "a little while".

That left United having to field Jesse Lingard as a striker as teenager Mason Greenwood was unavailable due to tonsillitis and Anthony Martial was sidelined by injury.

United allowed Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to join Inter without signing any replacements in attack, but Solskjaer continues to stand by that decision.

"It's one of these moments, we've had historically lots of centre-backs struggling with injuries," he added. "We've come down here and Michael Carrick's played centre-back, Darren Fletcher has, now it's strikers. 

"It's just how it's gone. Hopefully Mason and Anthony will be back for Arsenal [on September 30], definitely, hopefully one of them for Rochdale [on Wednesday in the EFL Cup]."

Pressed on why Sanchez was permitted to depart on loan, leaving United short of options, Solskjaer said: "We made a decision on that and I still think it was the best one for us, and for Alexis, and we agreed on that one.

"We didn't create enough chances but we created big chances, some big moments that we didn't take, and they scored although they didn't create too many either. It's a game that could have gone both ways. When you've got Rashford and Dan James I don't think pace is the problem.

"There's a few in the first half we turned down a key pass, we had two chances in the second half we could have again and I'm sure we'd score more than we miss.

"This group, they want to do what we want to do, they work in training. Like I said, there's key moments in games that can tip them in our favour compared to theirs. You can make a bad decision on a pass, left, right or centre, but the attitude is there.

"That's not the problem. It's the quality in our decision-making and sometimes in their execution."

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