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14th of November 2018

Sport



Man United manager Jose Mourinho praises Man City amid FFP allegations

Jose Mourinho insists Manchester City's football work is 'untouchable' amid allegations they deceived Uefa over Financial Fair Play.

Last week, German publication Der Spiegel published a story which claimed City struck a secret deal with Uefa in 2014 to avoid a potential Champions League ban for breaching FFP regulations. On Monday, Der Spiegel published a new article that alleged City channelled millions of pounds of their owner Sheikh Mansour's immense wealth into the club through their Abu Dhabi-based sponsors.

At his pre-match press conference ahead of United's Champions League group game with Juventus on Tuesday, Mourinho was reluctant to speak candidly about the claims levelled at City and again resisted dwelling on whether United are competing on a 'level playing field'.

However, the United manager applauded the 'quality' of City's work and organisation after they won the Premier League title with 100 points last term.

"Is difficult for me to answer because I focus on my job," Mourinho said. "I focus on the four lines, focus on football. If you want to speak about their football potential we can speak and football potential starts with investment.

"After that, of course, there is a quality of the work, quality of the organisation, and I think that is untouchable, but what is behind I cannot say.

Jose Mourinho Manchester derby press conference round-up

"But in this moment I have only to think about football, and to think about football is to just think about Manchester City as a football team they are."

United have won only two matches this season by a two-goal margin or more and conceded first in six of their last eight games, but recovered to win three and draw at Chelsea. Mourinho insists United will eventually come unstuck if they continue to concede first.

"We can go to the other side, why we always concede before the opponent?" Mourinho said, when asked about United's powers of recovery. "If you want to go in a positive way is easy to feel we are a team that does not give up, a team that always finds a way to fight back, sometimes changing results, sometimes not. But we are a team that has that collective spirit to fight back, but is not always possible.

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"So if we keep conceding goals before the opponent the day will arrive where we cannot come back, so we have to make sure that we not just grow up in our approach, because I think is clear the team is growing up, but we have to grow up also in our compactness and start matches well.

"Against Juventus it happened, against Juventus we concede a goal minute 60 or something like that and we had a good start. I would say in the first 15 or 20 minutes we were totally in control."

If United manage to win Sunday's derby they will go within six points of City, who have made an unbeaten start to the campaign. Mourinho refused to talk up United's title chances if they do manage to claim three points, though.

"If we draw is nine and if we lose is 12," he added. "I don't think is the way to look at the match. We have to just think about the match, the match is difficult enough by being an isolated event, if you want to put that match into the context of where we are, where we can be then becomes even more difficult.

"So I just want to play it as an isolated event, difficult match against a difficult team but I don't think they think is an easy match for them."

Read More Help us build a Derby Day map of Manchester:

Where will you be supporting United from? You can help us compile a Derby Day map of Manchester.

Simply enter the first part of your postcode, then click on the red button. Your entry will be added to the results - and you'll get to see an interactive map which shows the results so far for each Greater Manchester area.

The survey will appear immediately below here, please wait a few seconds if it hasn't loaded yet

When you enter in your own club affiliation, you will see a map showing how the votes have been going so far but the final results could change as more fans take part.

We will publish the verdict after Sunday's big game.

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