Jose Mourinho insists he won’t mention Manchester United’s record of being awarded penalties to his Tottenham players with Old Trafford club winning NINE spot-kicks in the Premier League alone this season (compared to just four for Spurs)
- Tottenham host Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon
- Jose Mourinho has insisted he won’t be bringing up the subject of penalties
- United have been awarded nine Premier League penalties so far this season
- Only Leicester City with 10 have been awarded more; Spurs have received four
- Bruno Fernandes has scored from 12 yards in last two outings against Spurs
Jose Mourinho has claimed he will resist the temptation to discuss Manchester United’s prolific threat from the penalty spot with his Tottenham players.
United travel to face Spurs on Sunday having been awarded nine penalties in 30 Premier League games this season, scoring eight. Only Leicester have been awarded more, 10.
Bruno Fernandes scored his 11th penalty of the season in all competitions as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team won 2-0 at Granada in the first leg of their Europa League quarter final on Thursday.
Bruno Fernandes scores from the penalty spot in the Man United vs Tottenham game in October. The spot-kick handed United a brief lead before Spurs went on to win 6-1
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho insisted he won’t mention penalties to his player ahead of the return fixture between the sides in north London on Sunday afternoon
Anthony Martial was awarded a contentious penalty in United’s win over Southampton
‘I cannot go to a football match concerned, I can’t,’ said Spurs boss Mourinho when asked about United’s penalty threat.
‘I don’t think it’s the right frame of mind to go to a football match concerned. So I’m not going concerned. And I don’t want my players to be.
‘They have to go to a football match with positive feelings, enjoying the game, enjoying the dimension and the difficulty of the game. Coping with the responsibility. Coping with the pressure, good pressure. So that’s what I want.
‘I want to be positive and happy to play against such a giant club, and such a good team. And of course with the ambition to win the points, because the points, when the game starts, the points are going to be there on the grass, and we are going to play for the points.’
Fernandes also scored from 12 yards when the two sides met in London last season
Fernandes also scored a penalty during Thursday night’s Europa League game with Granada
Number of penalties awarded this season
Premier League games only
10 – Leicester City
9 – Chelsea, Manchester United
8 – Brighton, Manchester City
6 – Liverpool, Arsenal
5 – Fulham
4 – Sheffield United, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Wolves, Tottenham, Southampton
3 – Everton, Crystal Palace
2 – West Ham, West Brom, Leeds, Burnley
Fernandes gave his team an early lead against Tottenham from the spot at Old Trafford in October. It was the third penalty scored by United in three games against Mourinho’s Spurs, but the Londoners fought back to record a 6-1 win.
‘That 6-1 doesn’t reflect the reality,’ said Mourinho. ‘Of course it can happen in an isolated way. I go much more in the direction of the other two previous matches between us and United.
‘We lost 2-1 at Old Trafford – with a penalty – and we draw 1-1 at home last season – also with a penalty. I think this is more the reality. We are not far from each other so I think it is going to be a difficult match for both.’
Under Solskjaer, Manchester United have been much stronger away from Old Trafford. They have not lost on the road in the Premier League since defeat Liverpool in January last year.
‘That record is not going to stop us to think we can win and it is not going to stop us to fight to win,’ said Mourinho.
‘At the end of the match maybe the result is different and their record becomes even better, but it is not the record that is going to stop us going into the game thinking we can win it.
‘Sometimes things go against the stats, or the tendencies, or what the records are saying. I go with confidence because I believe in us, I believe in the work we are doing this week to try to prepare the match the best we can.
‘We are working well during this week. For the wrong reasons, which is knocked out of Europa League, but we were able to have a week to work and we didn’t have many during the season. That makes me positive.’
Tottenham will be without injured full-backs Ben Davies and Matt Doherty.
Mourinho got the better of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in October with a stunning 6-1 away win