José Mourinho hails mentality of Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku and Mourinho during the Brighton victory | Photo: Alex Livesey / Stringer

José Mourinho hails mentality of Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian centre-forward wasn’t on the scoresheet last time out in the win over Brighton and Hove Albion, but he impressed his manager nonetheless

Matthew Brown

José Mourinho has praised the mentality of his Manchester United striker, Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku caught the eye of his manager, with whom he reunited in the summer, joining the Old Trafford club in a £75m summer deal from Everton, after a previous spell together at Chelsea, with his performance in the weekend win against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Mourinho likes Rom’s example

The 24-year-old has more often made a decisive impact in the final third this term, with his eight goals in 13 Premier League matches, but Mourinho was also satisfied by Lukaku’s work rate and defensive contribution as Chris Hughton’s side made it difficult for United in the 1-0 win.

Speaking to the club's website, Mourinho said: “I am happy with the attitude,”  ahead of a midweek trip to face Watford, and cited the example of United’s no.9, adding, “people like Romelu Lukaku playing on the right, on the left, chasing defenders.”

The 54-year-old United manager added that, in the last minute of the match, Lukaku, “was fighting and running back like he was in the first minute.”

And Mourinho was clearly unfazed by the fact his side won via Ashley Young’s deflected strike, Lewis Dunk’s final touch taking it into the top corner, as he added of his “fantastic” striker’s display, “he didn't score, but I don't care.”



Boss salutes effort in goal

The goal certainly had more than a hint of good fortune to it, not only with regards to Young’s massively deflected finish but also the decision to award a corner to United in the build-up.

Mourinho, though, chose to salute Lukaku’s part in earning that set piece instead of engaging in any post-match chat of the refereeing decision.

“The way Romelu wins the corner for the goal, the way he ended the game, making tackles in left-back positions, that's the mentality I want,” the Portuguese manager continued. “The corner is exactly on the other side of the pitch.

“I just think that Lukaku was phenomenal in his effort to fight for that ball and then the linesman is two metres away. I am 80 metres away. I had no idea [if it was a corner].”

Lukaku and United travel to Vicarage Road to face Marco Silva’s Watford on Tuesday, although the striker has a fight on his hands to retain his starting berth given the recent return of Zlatan Ibrahimović.