Romelu Lukaku has stressed that Manchester United players respect Jose Mourinho, hailing the Portuguese’s winning mentality.
The 55-year-old has irked many supporters by cutting a glum, spiky figure over pre-season, prompting many to view his behaviour as a precursor for a classic third season meltdown.
But Lukaku, speaking earlier this week, insisted that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
“We play this game to win,” he said.
“When you lose, you get angry. When he is upset, he’s the type of person that you can really see it.
“But that should be embraced because he is a manger and a coach that wants to win. If you can’t deal with that, don’t ask him questions because he shouldn’t hide his personality to give a good public image.
“It is nice to play for him. I get to see a total different image of him where he’s really cool.”
Frank Lampard revealed on Monday Night Football last season that Mourinho would always tell his players something very important ahead of the new campaign: to not pay attention to what he said in the press.
This feeds into Mourinho’s wider philosophy of creating a closed environment for his players, allowing for the noise to envelop around his public statements instead. It is a tactic which, while occasionally having an adverse effect, has proved fundamental for engendering a siege mentality throughout his career. Lukaku and the players are fully aware of that, it seems.