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22nd of September 2018

Sport



Lukaku backs Mourinho, defends his 'realness'

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has come out in support of manager Jose Mourinho.

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has come out in support of manager Jose Mourinho's 'realness', claiming that the outspoken Old Trafford boss is 'cool with everybody'.

Mourinho's relationships with the likes of Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw have commanded headlines and fuelled press speculation for a number of months. The futures of Pogba and Martial remain up in their air, with the former tipped by some to make a move to Barcelona or Juventus, while Shaw is still yet to sign a new contract.

The Portuguese has also been heavily criticized by the media for a grumpy demeanor. However, what Lukaku says he likes about Mourinho is that he always lets it be known how he is feeling and never hides behind 'fake emotions'.

"What I like about him is he's not going to fake his emotions. When he's mad, you know he is mad. When he's happy, you see he is happy," the Belgian explained to BBC's Football Focus.

"I don't understand why people don't like the realness about him. When he's mad at me I know he is mad at me, and I try to do what he wants so he is happy again," Lukaku added.

The 25-year-old, who scored three more international goals this month to bring his tally to 32 in his last 35 appearances for his country, even acknowledged that many modern players are much more sensitive to criticism than their predecessors from eras gone by.

"Sometimes footballers, we get soft a little bit," he explained.

"If I listen to players from back in the day and now, a manager cannot say what he wants to a player because you feel attacked. But I don't feel attacked, because that's who I am - I am a tough man, but that doesn't come from football, that comes from my background.

"My relationship with him is cool. He makes me laugh, he makes the players laugh, he's a real family guy. He fights for his players, but he's real. When you're not happy, you don't need to fake your emotions. People need to appreciate that...most of the managers in the league, when they are not happy they try to find a way to seem happy.

"You should respect that he wants to keep his own personality and not shy away from confrontation. Here, he really wants us to improve. He is a normal guy, we get along well. He is cool with everybody."

Lukaku and United face a stern test when Premier League football resumes this weekend as they travel south to face a Watford side who have enjoyed a 100% winning start to the season.

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