Jose Mourinho has seen his team win just four of their ten matches (all competitions) so far this season.
Asked on Friday morning why they aren’t doing better, the Man Utd manager claimed there were ‘many different reasons’ for the poor form.
However, when asked to name some of these reasons, Mourinho declined to outline any of them.
Fans have criticised both his team selections and negative tactics, a goalless home draw on Tuesday with Valencia, who are currently 14th in La Liga, not exactly helping matters.
When the two sides met in February, Newcastle won with a Matt Ritchie goal at St James Park.
That day saw Newcastle really step it up and Rafa Benitez made a bold team selection giving Dubravka his debut and had his team pressing Man Utd high up the pitch.
With so little pace on the counter-attack, you have to feel that Newcastle will once again have to try and press high in the match and take a few chances, if they are going to create a decent number of opportunities.
Jose Mourinho praises Rafa Benitez and says he is ‘Very bright on his analysis of the opponent’s qualities and how to try and stop them.’
The Man Utd boss indicating that he believes Newcastle’s performances against top six sides this season have been better than the points total suggests.
An important match for both clubs ahead of the international break but you have to feel Man Utd will need to throw everything at it, leaving the possibilities of gaps at the other end. Can Newcastle have enough quality to take advantage?
Jose Mourino pre-Newcastle press conference on Friday morning, confirming that Marcus Rojo, Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera will once again be unavailable for Saturday.
“It is exactly the same squad (for Newcastle), no new injuries and the players who were injured are still out with, the (just the) possibility of Ashley Young coming back into the squad.
“There has been recovery time for the players that played against Valencia and good work for the others, that obviously were in perfect condition to train.
“Today is the first day we have had all of the players together (since Valencia on Tuesday) and three days in between matches is more than enough time to have the players ready for the weekend match.”
‘Why aren’t things working as you’d like them to work out at Manchester United at the moment?’
“(There are) Many different reasons.”
‘Can you tell us any of those reasons?’
‘How important is this weekend against Newcastle?
“I know that we are in the beginning of October and we look to tables all around Europe and in many leagues, the tables in September and October, they don’t reflect what is going to happen a few months later or the end of the season.
“But we are in a position where we can do much better than that and we need points. Points that we lost, especially in the last two Premier League matches (draw at home to Wolves and defeat at West Ham)
“But we also know that our opponent (Newcastle United) , for different reasons, also need the points.
“A very, very, very good coach (Rafa Benitez), a team that is always very well organised, especially against those teams of the first part of the table,
“Their manager is very bright on his analysis of the opponent’s qualities and how to try and stop them.
“The results they had against the top teams didn’t get them points yet this season, but gave them very, very close results – very difficult matches for the opposition.
“So we expect a difficult match.”
‘Is it important to repay the fans as you haven’t won at home since the opening day of the season?’
“Only one defeat at home all season, only one defeat in the last seven matches – but not victories at home in the past three matches, instead three draws.
“Not the feeling of defeat but neither the happiness of the victory.
“So yes, it is important for us to try to win this match (against Newcastle) on Saturday.”