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02nd May 2017

Jamie Carragher has precisely zero sympathy for Jose Mourinho’s most recent complaint

"I don't see anything out of the ordinary there."

Darragh Murphy

Get used to it.

That seems to be the resounding message from Jamie Carragher to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who has been moaning about the piling up of fixtures for his side in recent weeks.

Mourinho, who oversaw a 1-1 draw with Swansea on Sunday afternoon, has complained about the fact that United had to play nine games in April but Carragher believes that such frequency is going to be typical of teams who intend to battle on all fronts, both European and domestic.

“At Manchester United you have players who are used to playing that amount of games,” Carragher said on Monday Night Football. “I think seven or eight teams in Europe have played nine games in April.

“If you’re a Manchester United manager you want to play nine games in April because it shows you’re performing, you’re still in competitions, you’re still going for things.

“I don’t see anything out of the ordinary there in the number of games played. It shows you’re successful, and if United could play 63, 64 games this season, last year they played 59. That’s not a massive difference.

“Yeah, they’re complaining but it shows they’re doing well and that is the norm, especially going forward for Manchester United, especially if they want to get back into the Champions League.”

No sympathy from Carragher then but the man who joined the Liverpool legend in the Sky Sports studio, Alan Pardew, was a touch more understanding of Mourinho’s plight.

While Pardew’s appearance wasn’t exactly well received by fans, the former Crystal Palace, Newcastle and West Ham manager was able to offer some insight into the problem of fixture congestion.

“Nine games in April is a tough call for a manager,” Pardew said. “The couple of Europa League campaigns I’ve had, you start to lose the sharpness in the players, you start to sense it and see it and it becomes a problem.

“With your selection you’re trying to even it out. It does become a worry for you, the sharpness of the team is dropping off.

“He also had some injuries which have restricted him somewhat in his selection of players and he’s lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which is a massive problem for Manchester United coming into the big semi-final they have this week.

“Twenty-six games unbeaten isn’t a bad run, but I think everybody is expecting something a little bit more than they’re delivering, particularly United fans who are used to that attacking style, it really isn’t Jose.

“He’s trying to get the balance right, but with a lack of sharpness and playing without Zlatan, he’s just a little frustrated, I think.

“The problem he’s got is he’s got injuries and he’s changing the team and he hasn’t got time to work on that particular team.

“The sport scientists are really pulling you about recovery. It’s a massive part of the game. Also you have the individual players, they’re like chief executives of their own companies now, they have their own sports scientists advising them and giving them little tips and it becomes a problem about how much work you can get on the training ground into the team.

“It’s very, very difficult when you’ve got nine games in one month.”