Only untouchable at United is team spirit says Mourinho

Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:44am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Wayne Rooney knows it already and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba have been warned by manager Jose Mourinho that no player is "untouchable" at Manchester United.

During Mourinho's trophy-laden first spell at Chelsea from 2004-07 the likes of Frank Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba and Claude Makelele became almost undroppable.

Times have changed, however, and Mourinho says no one in the United dressing room can assume such status.

Speaking ahead of United's home Europa League clash with Turkish side Fenerbahce on Thursday, Mourinho said the only untouchable presence in the United dressing room cost not a single penny.

"Untouchable now has to be the team spirit and the commitment and pride, the commitment to the club, respect to the fans, that has to be untouchable not players," Mourinho told reporters on Wednesday.

Club skipper Rooney has not started for nearly a month while world record signing Pogba is yet to hit his stride.

Ibrahimovic has started all of United's eight Premier League games so far, as have keeper David De Gea, defender Eric Bailly and winger Antonio Valencia.

But even they are not automatic picks, said Mourinho.

"(At Chelsea) that was 11 years ago. It's a different Premier league, different situation, (Chelsea) were the best team by far, that's a different story," Mourinho said.   Continued...

Britain Football Soccer - Manchester United Press Conference - Old Trafford, Manchester, England - 19/10/16
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho during the press conference
Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff