Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho took aim at those questioning Marcus Rashford’s development under his guidance on Friday.
Here is what the Red Devils boss said when asked about the England striker at the press conference previewing the trip to Watford.
Question: “Marcus is obviously banned for this weekend and the coming domestic games, but what did you make of his performances over the international break?”
Answer: “Speaking about Marcus, I think I can expect that Sunday I’m going to be highly criticised for not playing him tomorrow because some of the boys are really obsessed with me and some of them they have I think a problem with some compulsive lies.
“So, I can expect that Sunday some of them they will wake up in the morning and, as always, the first thing they think, that comes to their mind, is Jose Mourinho, so I can imagine on Sunday I am going to be criticised for not playing Marcus.
“But it is not my fault, he is suspended, so probably you should remind them that he is suspended, and he cannot play.
“Performances with England, of course I’m happy.
“He played well, he competed well, he scored and especially in a period where he comes with some sadness after his suspension and it was very good that he did that.
“Ummm, if you don’t mind to lose a couple of minutes with me, I’m going to do something not for you but for the United fans because I think I hold myself to the United fans and for them I am going to spend two minutes with you.
“On the season 16-17, Marcus Rashford played 32 Premier League matches, 11 Europa League matches, including the final, three FA Cup matches, six League Cup matches, including the final, and the Community Shield.
“He had 53 appearances but if you want to take to the minutes of play, he played 3,068 minutes and if you want to divide that by 90 minutes of the matches, he played 34.2 matches of 90 minutes on the 16-17.
“On the 17-18, he played 35 matches in the Premier League, eight in Champions League, five in FA Cup, including the final, three League Cup matches and the European Super Cup final.
“He played a total of 52 matches with 2,676 minutes. If you divide that by 90, it gives 29.7 matches.
“So, with me in two seasons, he had 105 appearances, 5,744 minutes, 63.7 matches of 90 minutes, including five finals, so the people that is speaking about his minutes I think they are a bit confused.
“Marcus Rashford is not Dominic Solanke, he’s not Ruben Loftus-Cheek, he’s not Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
“He’s Marcus Rashford, Manchester United player, with an incredible number of appearances and an incredible number of minutes played at the highest level in the best possible competitions.
“So, Manchester United supporters – for you and just for you – to know what we are doing with Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard, Scott McTominay, that’s what we are doing here.”
Question: “You or someone has done some research, it clearly irritates you that there is a perception about you…”
Answer: “It’s not a perception. You know some of the persons, everybody knows that they have double salaries.
“They work also for the clubs and when they work also for the clubs of course they are not independent and of course they conduct things in the direction they want to conduct things.
“That’s obvious and that’s human, and that’s natural. It’s not ethical but I accept, clearly.
“The ones that wake up in the morning and the first thing that comes into their mind is Jose Mourinho and Manchester United, I feel sorry for them because there are much more interesting things to wake up and to be happy in the morning (about) than to speak immediately about us and about football.
“But for the Manchester United supporters, I think it is important they have the right idea of how things are in reality.
“But the most important thing of all is that the kid is a good kid, the kid is a good player, he knows what Manchester United did for him.
“Starting in the academy, then Mr Van Gaal’s support, then my support and the club’s support, and the new contract and the new shirt, and being selected for every single match since I am here.
“Marcus Rashford was selected for every single match – he was never, never one day out of selection because of my decision, only if injured or, like in this, because he is suspended.
“He was never, never out of a selection, so he knows and that’s the most important thing.
“But, again, media is very important, and I think it’s very important the Manchester United supporters they know the truth.
“That’s why I’m going so specific about his numbers.”