Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes Wayne Rooney’s form slump started after criticism for an England display.
Rooney has come under fire for his recent performances after United went on a three-match losing run, which they ended with an EFL Cup win over Northampton Town.
The United and England captain has hit back at critics, but Mourinho believes he saw a change in Rooney after his nation’s win over Slovakia.
The Portuguese tactician said the response to Rooney’s performance in the 1-0 victory this month may have impacted the forward.
“I think there was a Wayne before the Slovakia game and a Wayne after the Slovakia game. And I am not blaming Sam [Allardyce, England manager], not at all,” Mourinho said, via the Manchester Evening News.
“I am blaming the people that after the England match against Slovakia was, in my opinion, too strong with somebody that is a very important player in the history of English football, is the captain of England, is the record of goals, is almost the record of matches.
“I think it was too much but I still think, a big boy like he is, he has to face it in a strong way.”
Rooney has dismissed the criticism ahead of United’s clash at home to Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday.
Mourinho said individuals needed to know how to deal with the intense spotlight.
“I just feel that it’s part of the job and you have to look at in this way. It’s part of the job and it’s part of your culture and part of the culture of this country,” he added.
“It’s part of the job. You have to cope with it, you have to realise you are very lucky to be in our position.
“You must be very lucky to be Manchester United manager, Man United player, Man United physio, Man United doctor, Man United kit man. You have to be very lucky, so feel good and fight hard.”