Jose Mourinho: Television analysts 'could not resolve their own problems'
MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has hit back at pundits who "could not resolve their own problems" while they were managers.
Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville branded United a team of "individuals" during half-time of the 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on Monday night and Graeme Souness has also been critical of aspects of their play.
Neville was sacked after four months in charge of Valencia and Souness has not worked since being sacked by Newcastle United in 2006 -- something Mourinho was quick to point out.
"Some of the guys with an opinion couldn't resolve their own problems when they were managers so they are giving opinions like they have solutions for everything but is not like that," Mourinho said at a news conference on Friday.
"They are in a position where they can give opinions about everything. Sometimes I read and listen, sometimes I don't. This week, I was more focused on enjoying Champions League and Europa League and preparing my match than be focused on opinions."
United host Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday with Jurgen Klopp's side just one place and two points behind in the table.
Mourinho has Marouane Fellaini available after a knee injury but Anthony Martial is set to miss out again after he missed the victory over Palace.
The Portuguese coach praised the United fans who travelled to Selhurst Park, and the 55-year-old, who has been critical of the atmosphere at Old Trafford, has told supporters they have a role to play against Liverpool.
"It helps," Mourinho said. "At Crystal Palace, I can imagine if we are losing 2-0 and our away fans, how many, 2,000?
"We could feel disapproval, criticism or support. At 2-0 down, we only felt support and at 2-1 we felt more belief and at 2-2 we felt they want us to go for it. They can help. Old Trafford is a huge majority of Manchester United fans, so they can help."
The meeting with Liverpool starts off a crucial week for United.
Sevilla arrive with a place in the Champions League quarterfinals up for grabs before an FA Cup quarterfinal clash with Brighton on Saturday.
"I never look to AC Milan as the biggest rival, Atletico Madrid as the enemy. I never look to Spurs or Arsenal as the big rival," Mourinho said.
"For me, it is just a big match of two historical clubs -- not just in England but the world -- and in this moment, important points for top four, important points for second, but I still don't look to some matches as special opponents. [It] is just a big match because we are speaking about two big clubs.
"We have three matches now -- Liverpool, Sevilla and Brighton. If you ask me if I could choose one to be the most important, I can't choose, so for me, the most important one is Liverpool, because is the next one but the other two are knockout.
"Of course, it is a big match, but I'm not very good on that rivalry. Every opponent is a rival."
Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.