Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said he is “worried” about table-topping Manchester City after the Red Devils dropped eight points behind Pep Guardiola’s side in the Premier League following their 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday.
However, the Portuguese insisted the Sky Blues are far from out of sight and said he hopes United’s form will improve when the likes of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo return from injury, per Rob Dawson on ESPN.co.uk:
“We are worried, but there are 18 teams more worried than us because we are second. Eight points in the Premier League is not the same as eight points in the Portuguese league, La Liga, the Bundesliga. Eight points in the Premier League… there’s still a lot to play for.
“I hope, I feel, I think, I wish that in the busy period of late November, December, beginning of January, probably we are going to be at our maximum strength with Pogba, Rojo and Ibra back, so probably we can be on a high.”
City have been almost perfect so far this season in the Premier League, winning 10 of their 11 games—most recently Sunday’s 3-1 defeat of Arsenal—and drawing one.
United kept pace with them for the first seven games of the campaign but have dropped eight points in their last four matches.
The Red Devils have also managed to score just two goals in that time after netting 21 in their opening seven games.
United’s form needs to turn around fast if they are to prevent City from disappearing into the distance less than halfway through the campaign.
After the international break, United face a must-win home clash against Newcastle United, and they will hope City drop points away at Leicester City.
Mourinho’s first opportunity to directly influence City’s momentum will not come until December 10, when the first Manchester derby of the season takes place at Old Trafford.