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Mourinho to rely on Borg’s record for inspiration over Arsenal


Manchester United’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho / Oli SCARFF / AFP

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is taking inspiration from tennis great Bjorn Borg in order to keep his players focused on beating Arsenal.

United visit the Emirates Stadium today before preparing for what could be a critical week in their season, with a Champions League clash at home to CSKA Moscow followed by the derby with Manchester City next Sunday.

With his side still competing for four trophies but needing to close an eight-point gap to City at the top of the Premier League, Mourinho’s squad is facing an arduous test in the build-up to the hectic Christmas fixture schedule.

However, the Portuguese insists his players must adopt the ethos of 11-time grand slam champion Borg and his coaching staff and take each game as it comes.

“I play a game at a time. I think it’s the way to do it,” he told a news conference on Friday.
“Yesterday, I was watching an interesting movie: Bjorn Borg versus John McEnroe. Borg’s coach was telling him: ‘one point at a time, think just about one point’.

“I always tell my players to think just about the game. It doesn’t matter what comes after or what happens before.

“It’s just Arsenal. We don’t think about how many points we are ahead of them or behind the leader. It’s difficult enough to be focused on other things. Focus on this game.”

Asked if he is more like the clinical Borg or the temperamental McEnroe, Mourinho replied: “I don’t play tennis. I love tennis, I don’t play tennis.”

United will be without Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Marouane Fellaini for the game in north London, while Nemanja Matic is a doubt after limping off in the 4-2 win over Watford.

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