Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho clarifies top four 'miracle' comment

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Jose Mourinho has admitted Manchester United's ambitions have changed after their hard start to the Premier League season.

Matteo Darmian was called in from the cold against Crystal Palace, Antonio Valencia took the reigns against Young Boys but Ashley Young got the nod at St Mary's.

A disappointing 2-2 draw at Southampton on Saturday saw Manchester United lose more ground on their top four rivals and they are now eight points behind in race to finish in the Champions League spots.

"I think far from a miracle, we just need to not be so unlucky with problems that we have, we need some players to perform better, and we need the team to perform better but far from a miracle".

Four Wednesdays - and three Premier League games without a win - later, that fire is raging once more, amid stories of Mourinho's own rage after another comeback from defeat at Southampton.

"If our game was today, I'd say Jones is not playing, Smalling is not playing and Bailly is not playing but we will have to wait", Jose said. One of Rashford and Lukaku will presumably be fit enough to play upfront. "I don't play the game of the suggest".

"For example, last season it was Arsenal and Chelsea, and this season two of these six are going to stay outside". What is that? It is to train every day in his limits, to play every game in his limits, is to behave socially according to the nature of his job, is to respect the millions of fans around the world and to respect the hierarchies in the club.

"When you play Europa - I have done that - it's not the motivation for the club but it's good to develop the team and to have people fresh".

Reports emerged ahead of Mourinho's press conference on Tuesday that he had told Brazilian TV channel RedeTV. You have to analyse a player by 'is he performing, yes or no?'

"A football player is paid - and very well paid - to be a football professional", said Mourinho. "I don't believe in that", he stated.

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