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Jose Mourinho: Manchester United players deserve more credit

MANCHESTER -- Jose Mourinho says Tottenham's victory over Real Madrid this week proves his Manchester United players deserve more credit.

Tottenham beat the European champions 3-1 at Wembley on Wednesday, just four days after they were beaten 1-0 at Old Trafford.

There have been criticisms of Mourinho's style this season, despite his team sitting second in the Premier League table and top of their Champions League group, and the United manager insists they should get more recognition.

He told a news conference on Thursday: "I know that it is a different way of analysing things for this reason or that reason. Similar performances for some clubs are magic, are examples of brilliant tactics and amazing attitude from the other players and for other teams the same kind of performance becomes conservative, becomes negative, becomes so many adjectives.

"Honestly, just as an example, Tottenham beat Liverpool 4-1, Tottenham beat Real Madrid 3-1, Tottenham didn't score against Manchester United so at least a little bit of credit my players deserve."

Mourinho held his news conference ahead of this weekend's trip to Chelsea on Thursday with the 54-year-old due in court in Madrid on Friday to face allegations of tax fraud.

Jose Mourinho said Manchester United face a 'big match' against English champions Chelsea.

Mourinho is set to appear in person but insists the hearing is not a distraction, despite coming just 48 hours before the game at Stamford Bridge.

He said: "It is just a change of normal training time because I want to be there and I cannot be in the morning so I have to change the timings."

United, meanwhile, are still without Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini and there appears little chance either will be fit to face Chelsea.

Mourinho added: "We have to wait a little bit. Normally a press conference is a bit later in the week. I am not very optimistic but I don't want to lie.

"I don't want you to say I lie when I said no chance of recovering so I just say two more days to confirm my expectations."

It will be Mourinho's third visit to Stamford Bridge as United manager after losing there in both the Premier League and FA Cup last season.

The United boss admits returning to the club where he won three titles is "a bit different," but he insists his comeback is not the ingredient that makes the clash a big game.

He added: "I played there with Inter and twice with Manchester United. I have to admit it is a little bit different but in the end I want to win like I did with Inter.

"They want to win like they did last season and it is just one more day and in a couple of years it will be even more natural, and in four or five years probably no one will remember I was Chelsea manager and it will become as normal.

"It is a big match, but not because of that -- because they are champions and we are Manchester United."

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.

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