Date published: Saturday 1st December 2018 1:34

Jose Mourinho has hit out at the way the media analyse his team selections at Manchester United – but admits one of their focal points, Alexis Sanchez, has endured a frustrating time at the club.

United visit Southampton at teatime on Saturday as they head into a month where Mourinho is eyeing a concerted push up the table as they look to close the gap on the top four.

The United manager, however, anticipates being without Sanchez for the hectic festive schedule, with the Chilean forward set for around six weeks on the sidelines after injuring his hamstring in training on Thursday.

Sanchez has endured a disappointing time at Old Trafford since leaving Arsenal for United in January and was left out of the squad altogether for the midweek Champions League win over Young Boys – leading to further speculation that the player could move on.

Mourinho has rejected speculation of a falling out with Sanchez, and empathised with the 29-year-old’s fortunes, as he expressed his exasperation that other managers are not similarly scrutinised for how they treat their big names.

He said: “When we speak about Alexis, I think you should ask why every time a player is not playing in Manchester United, there is always a rumour. There is always a problem. It’s only here.

“In Chelsea when Willian doesn’t play there is no problem with Willian and (Maurizio) Sarri. In Man City, when Gabriel Jesus is not playing for weeks, there is never a problem. It is just a normal decision.

“Here is the only club where every day the manager has problems with the players. You make me feel very, very special because I am the one who is different from everybody else.

“But speaking about Alexis – a frustrating season. It’s a season where he is not playing a lot, where he had small injuries, where he now has a big injury.

“I don’t like and don’t believe in the word curse but I have to admit it was probably a very unlucky six months, and we expect the new year brings better things for him.”


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