West Brom V Man Utd at The Hawthorns : Match Preview

16 December 2017
Mourinho is a born winner, says Baggies boss Pardew

West Brom boss Alan Pardew believes Jose Mourinho has a better winning formula than Pep Guardiola.

The Baggies chief revealed his admiration for Manchester United manager Mourinho's mentality ahead of Sunday's game at The Hawthorns.

Manchester City boss Guardiola has earned praise for City's record-breaking Premier League winning streak this season, including a 2-1 derby victory at Old Trafford, with his side runaway leaders.

But Pardew feels Mourinho, who won the Europa League, Community Shield and League Cup in his first season at United, has a winning plan which sets him apart.

"Jose and myself would love to win a game 4-0 playing flamboyant football," he said.

"You can't do that, you just have to find a way to win sometimes, and that's the thing he does better than anyone else, including Pep, he wins more trophies. He gets a lot of criticism which I think is unfounded.

"You get to the Community Shield by winning the Premier League or FA Cup. Then that's another trophy. I don't understand why people don't think it's a trophy. His targets and what he does are about winning. Simple as that.

"As managers of course, particularly if you're manager of Manchester United, you're going to get criticised. Sir Alex Ferguson got criticised and went through periods where fans were baying for him.

"It comes with the territory and Jose's strong enough and big enough to win trophies, which I'm sure he's going to do."

Pardew also admires Mourinho for what he gets most criticised for, shutting teams down to grind out a result, which the Baggies managed to do to clinch a 0-0 draw at Liverpool on Wednesday.

It lifted them out of the bottom three before the weekend and the former Newcastle manager insists the art of defending cannot be overlooked.

"There's always been two sides to winning football matches, defensive discipline and offensive prowess. You have to get the balance right," he said.

"There are times people would like Jose to be more offensive, but you look at United's defensive record - it's pretty good.

"It's about personnel and having the right criteria. I am of the opinion there's beauty in the game at both ends of the pitch."

Nemanja Matic thinks Manchester United team-mate Scott McTominay can become "an England star" - a suggestion which may not be welcomed by the Scottish Football Association.

Matic has joined the 21-year-old midfielder's growing fan club having joined him on the field in his first Premier League start of the season against Bournemouth in midweek.

McTominay was born in Lancaster but qualifies for Scotland through his father, who spoke to interim manager Malky Mackay about a potential call-up to face Holland last month.

He has yet to make his allegiances clear, instead opting to focus on breaking in at Old Trafford, but Matic believes the sky is the limit.

"He has exactly what he needs to become a big player," Matic told MUTV.

"He's working a lot every day and is looking to the older players to take things from them and to learn and I'm sure that he will be an England star and a Manchester United star because I think he is born for this job.

"The manager is there to explain to someone like Scott what he needs to do and I'm really happy for him because he's a good guy and I'm sure in the future he will get more chances to play and show his qualities."

McTominay is likely to return to bench duty against the Baggies but Matic has no doubt his growth will continue as long as he focuses on the job at hand.

The Serbia international has pledged to do whatever he can to make his young colleague's transition easier but does not see himself as a direct role model.

"When I was young I just tried to, let's say, copy the older players - how they work and how they were as professionals," he said.

"(But) we are all different, you cannot try to do what the other players do because one player has one quality and you might have another.

"I think the young players just need freedom, you don't need to put extra pressure on them because they feel the pressure when they're on the pitch playing for Manchester United.

"They have enough pressure, so you have to try to release them a little bit and then they can show all their quality."

Source: PAR