Zlatan Ibrahimovic has outlined how he plans to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat to Manchester City.
Jose Mourinho’s side succumbed to a 2-1 defeat after a calamitous first half performance saw the visitors grab an early two goal advantage.
A powerful volley from Ibrahimovic on the stroke of half time precipitated a second-half onslaught from Mourinho’s side. But despite a series of frantic efforts, the three points went to the blue half of Manchester.
The Swede made it clear that, under the tutelage of Mourinho, each player will be fully aware of what they need to do in the aftermath of such a disappointing defeat.
“Jose is direct with everyone,” he said.
“He is not someone who goes behind your back. I prefer that instead of someone who doesn’t say anything to you.
“He does what he needs to do to win. Just like me as a player. I don’t accept to lose. When I lose, I learn and I will not lose, I will win.”
Every manager has his own strategy when it comes to dealing with major set-backs: some dish out the dreaded silent treatment (this was employed by Sir Alex Ferguson on numerous occasions); some go berserk (also sometimes employed by Sir Alex); some show you endless clips of video analysis, pointing out every single fault you made over the 90 minutes (I don’t need to tell you who enjoyed doing this); some put an arm around your shoulder.
Mourinho’s strategy, on the other hand, is simple but effective. The 53-year-old doesn’t beat around the bush: he’ll tell you, man to man, with complete honesty, where you went wrong and what, in turn, you must do to improve.
That personal, direct contact strengthens bonds far more than expressing concerns in secret, like a certain Pep Guardiola famously did with Zlatan himself.