Jose Mourinho mixes with Manchester United fans as under-pressure boss casts eye on U23s
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 01/09/18 8:51pm
Jose Mourinho watched Manchester United's Under-23s on Friday night and delighted a young fan by posing for a picture and signing his shirt.
The United manager - under pressure after the club's worst start to a season in 26 years - cast his eyes over new right-back Diego Dalot's first appearance at Old Trafford as the youths beat Stoke's U23s 1-0.
Mourinho, whose side face Burnley on Sunday, took time to sign autographs and take pictures with the few fans in attendance at half-time, including 11-year-old Alex Nield, who has cerebral palsy.
Alex's father Jon told Sky Sports News: "Jose was watching the U23s, firstly from quite high up towards the back of the stand before he sat lower down in the second half.
"At half-time, he was only a few rows back and Alex shouted to him and waved him over. Jose waved back and gestured for him to come up, and after we explained he was in a wheelchair he came down to see us.
"Alex and I were made up. We were buzzing. He signed the front of Alex's training top - which will now go in a frame - and took pictures. It was a really nice touch from him.
"Alex watches United at every level. He's got a season ticket in the disabled section but we went to watch the U18s at Middlesbrough on Saturday, we've seen the women's team this year, and he's travelled all over the world, including LA this summer.
"It's his passion. It's all about the experiences he has and he meets lots of players. He breaks down barriers - people recognise him now and they're not afraid to come and say hello and high-five him."
Mourinho praised a section of United supporters after last Monday's 3-0 home defeat to Tottenham, having spent time on the pitch clapping those in the Stretford End that stayed beyond the final whistle.
The Portuguese has been backed this week by both the Manchester United board and the Supporters Trust despite the poor start, which has included back-to-back defeats to Spurs and Brighton after the opening-day win over Leicester.