Mourinho calls on Red Devils fans to pick up their gameSports | 12 Jan 2017
Jose Mourinho urged Manchester United fans to find their voices when they host Liverpool in the English Premier League on Sunday, telling them to not just "come to the theater" but to "play with us."
United defeated Hull City 2-0 at Old Trafford in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final with second-half goals from midfielders Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini.
The Portuguese manager, however, was not impressed by the subdued atmosphere in the first half, which reflected a lackluster performance from his players.
"I think in the first half the players have to do better, I have to do better, the fans they also have to do better," Mourinho said.
"Maybe I didn't do my job well. Maybe I should have brought more tension to [preparations]."
Mourinho expects striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to feature against Liverpool after missing the Hull clash with illness, though defender Marcos Rojo is a doubt after being injured in an FA Cup win over Reading at the weekend.
United are sixth in the league after 20 games with 39 points, trailing second-placed Liverpool by five points.
United have won nine games in succession, but Mourinho said they must be at their best for Liverpool after being "a bit sloppy" in the first half against Hull when players "complicated things."
Mata broke the deadlock in the 56th minute, volleying in from close range after Henrikh Mkhitaryan headed a Antonio Valencia cross back into the face of the goal. Paul Pogba hit a post in the 87th minute with a free-kick and then Fellaini netted a potentially vital goal with a header from a Matteo Darmian cross.
Fellaini had been booed by United fans before the 1-0 win over Tottenham last month, and he celebrated his goal against Hull by bear-hugging Mourinho on the touchline. "I think he wanted to show that he knows how much I supported him in a couple of difficult moments," Mourinho said, and "I told him he'd score the second goal."