The Portuguese coach has faced criticism at times for adopting a supposed defensive mindset, but a former Red Devil says the detractors are ‘jealous’
Patrice Evra has defended Manchester United’s style of play under Jose Mourinho, insisting “this is not the circus”.
The Marseille star returned to Old Trafford, where he played for eight-and-a-half years earlier in his career, for Michael Carrick’s testimonial on Sunday.
Evra, a Champions League winner with United in 2008, spoke of his continuing love for the club after the match and insisted critics should not be too negative about their current team.
Mourinho led United to the Europa League, sealing a return to the Champions League, as well as the EFL Cup in his first season as manager, but still saw his side’s style questioned as they slumped to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.
“This year they qualified for the Champions League and some people said they did not play good football, but we are not in the circus,” Evra said to MUTV.
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“They have been criticised a lot. A lot of people are jealous about Man United so they just keep criticising, even when they win.
“If you want to enjoy football then, yes 2008 was great and different, but people have to forget that and concentrate on this current Manchester United team. That would be my message to the United fans.
“I always say, this is my home and I feel that way. Thanks to all the fans they are all amazing.
“For me it’s just a dream. Like I say I love Man United and I will always love Man United. It is not a fake love.
“We need to be behind Man United always when they win or lose. If you love Man United you should never criticise them, you need to support them. When a player has a bad game, the fans never boo him.”
. @Evra : “It’s just too much emotion, too much feeling to come back and see the gaffer, the stadium and the fans. It’s amazing.” #MUFC pic.twitter.com/6WNfCWCQ7I
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 4, 2017
Evra, 36, heaped praise on Carrick, who is one year his junior and remains a key part of United’s plans.
He also insisted he had no plans to stop playing himself and discussed what it was like to be managed by Sir Alex Ferguson again in the testimonial clash, in which the United 2008 XI drew 2-2 with an All-Stars side.
“I think Michael Carrick is still an important player for Manchester United,” said Evra.
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“I remember this season, whenever he was playing, he was always positive. Age is just a number. I hope he will play many more years.
“He will have to keep playing, like me! I still have 24 brothers and sisters to feed, so I can’t stop, I have to run!
“It is amazing to be back, thank you to Michael Carrick for inviting us. We should say thanks to God to have a happy moment like this.
“The manager told us before the game that this team is full of good men, good personalities. [He told us] I want to say thank you to all of you, but the best thing is you are great human beings and good men and that’s the most important thing.”