Jose Mourinho wants more from Manchester United fans for Liverpool clash as he tells them to 'improve'

By Press Association

Published: 01:34 EST, 11 January 2017 | Updated: 02:55 EST, 11 January 2017

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Jose Mourinho called for Manchester United fans to up their game for Sunday's Premier League home clash with Liverpool following the 2-0 EFL Cup semi-final first-leg win over Hull at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

United boss Mourinho also stressed the need for improvement from himself and his players as he urged supporters not to 'come to the theatre' on Sunday but 'come to play with us'.

After second-half goals from Juan Mata and substitute Marouane Fellaini steered his side to victory against the Tigers on Tuesday, Mourinho expressed his concerns, saying: 'Maybe I didn't do my job well to prepare the players for the game.

Jose Mourinho has asked for more from Manchester United's fans ahead of Liverpool Jose Mourinho has asked for more from Manchester United's fans ahead of Liverpool

Jose Mourinho has asked for more from Manchester United's fans ahead of Liverpool

Mourinho called for Manchester United fans to up their game for the clash with Liverpool Mourinho called for Manchester United fans to up their game for the clash with Liverpool

Mourinho called for Manchester United fans to up their game for the clash with Liverpool

'But the players have to improve and I have to improve, and I am sorry to say I think the fans have also to improve for a big match on Sunday.

'Our performances (for the Hull match) were enough to win but for Sunday, we all have to improve.'

He added: 'I always think that we are responsible for the fans' participation in the game.

'If we play very, very well, very enthusiastic, they come to the pitch and play with us. When we didn't play so well, with so much emotion and intensity, it is normal that they relax a little bit.

'We have absolutely amazing fans.

'What I feel is that Sunday is a special match for us, a special match for the Manchester United fans - so my invitation is don't come to the theatre, come to play, play with us.'

Despite what he called an 'important' result having been achieved, Mourinho said his team 'played slow' and 'complicated things' - although he did admit that in terms of this having been a ninth straight win in all competitions for United, he 'cannot ask more' of his players.

He was full of praise for Fellaini, who has been jeered by some United supporters but heard his name being chanted around Old Trafford after his late goal, which the midfielder celebrated by hugging his manager.

Manchester United won their EFL Cup semi-final first-leg win over Hull on Tuesday night Manchester United won their EFL Cup semi-final first-leg win over Hull on Tuesday night

Manchester United won their EFL Cup semi-final first-leg win over Hull on Tuesday night

Manchester United saw off Hull at Old Trafford but go up against Liverpool next this weekend Manchester United saw off Hull at Old Trafford but go up against Liverpool next this weekend

Manchester United saw off Hull at Old Trafford but go up against Liverpool next this weekend

MAN UTD 2-0 HULL 

IAN LADYMAN AT OLD TRAFFORD: It wasn't Wayne Rooney's night and he will have to wait at least four more days for his record breaking Manchester United goal. 

More importantly, it wasn't Hull City's night either and that was somewhat less surprising.

Click here to read Sportsmail's report

Mourinho said of the Belgian: 'He has a very strong mentality. Scoring an important goal for us, he changed the dynamic and the empathy with the fans.

'He is always supported by myself. He knows he is a very important player for me.'

Mourinho also said he expects striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, absent on Tuesday due to illness, to be available on Sunday, and that Morgan Schneiderlin will join Everton, with United having accepted a £22million bid from the Toffees for the midfielder.

Hull are struggling in terms of player availability to the extent that boss Marco Silva could only name a bench of six substitutes, and they subsequently lost Markus Henriksen and Josh Tymon to injury during the game.

Silva felt they did well to cause United as many problems as they did.

He said: 'We didn't have all the players to prepare for this game. We had many problems to solve in the last days.

'Of course, I am not happy with the result, because I want more always for my team, but I'm happy with our performance.' 

Mourinho pictured hugging Marouane Fellaini after his goal to make it 2-0 against Hull Mourinho pictured hugging Marouane Fellaini after his goal to make it 2-0 against Hull

Mourinho pictured hugging Marouane Fellaini after his goal to make it 2-0 against Hull

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By Shane Walker 01/11/2017 01:35:00