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Mourinho demands more ahead of Reds clash

AAP logoAAP 10/01/2017

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has called for improvement from himself, his players and the club's fans if they the Red Devils are to make it ten straight wins in Sunday's Premier League blockbuster against Liverpool.

United beat Hull 2-0 in Tuesday's semi-final first-leg at Old Trafford thanks to a 56th-minute Juan Mata effort and substitute Marouane Fellaini's header three minutes from time.

Despite labelling the result as important, Mourinho admitted afterwards there had been a sense of complacency on United's part about the fixture.

"Maybe I didn't do my job well to prepare the players for the game," Mourinho said.

"But the players have to improve and I have to improve.

"And I am sorry to say I think the fans have also to improve for a big match on Sunday. Today, our performances were enough to win but for Sunday, we all have to improve.

"What I feel is that Sunday is a special match for us, a special match for the Manchester United fans - so my invitation is don't come to the theatre, come to play with us."

Mourinho said his team played slow and complicated things, but did admit that in terms of nine straight wins in all competitions for United, he cannot ask more of his players.

Fellaini's goal, his first of the season, came just over a month on from him giving away a penalty to allow his old club Everton to equalise in the 1-1 draw with United at Goodison Park.

The Belgian has been a divisive figure among United fans, even being jeered by some, but after his late header - which he celebrated by hugging Mourinho - he could hear his name being sung from the Old Trafford stands.

"He has a very strong mentality, he coped well with the situation, he was not afraid the next match after Everton to go to the pitch again, and I think he played phenomenally against Reading," Mourinho said of the Belgian.

"Scoring an important goal for us, he changed the dynamic and the empathy with the fans.

"But he is always supported by myself. He knows he is a very important player for me."

Mourinho also said he expects striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, absent from the Hull game due to illness, to be available for Sunday's match.

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