Former Man Utd star takes swipe at Jose Mourinho after Roma sacking | Football

Jose Mourinho was sacked by Roma earlier this week (Picture: Getty)

Chris Smalling has taken a swipe at now former Roma manager Jose Mourinho and denied claims he is reluctant to play through the pain barrier.

The 60-year-old Mourinho was sacked by the Giallorossi earlier this week following a miserable run of results which has left Roma languishing in mid-table.

Smalling and The Special one spent several years together at Old Trafford during which time Mourinho questioned the England international’s durability.

The pair were reunited in the Italian capital and enjoyed initial success together before Smalling succumbed to a knee injury which has ruled him out of action for the last four-and-a-half months.

Mourinho had claimed Smalling ‘holds something back’, that there are people ‘who aren’t high-performance athletes who have a greater pain threshold’ and added ‘maybe I can sleep fine with toothache, maybe you struggle’.

Following Mourinho’s dismissal, Smalling has moved to set the record straight and clarified he has never looked to leave the club who helped relaunch his career following a difficult end to his United career.

‘Let me start by clarifying that I have never asked to, nor even contemplated, leaving this great club,’ Smalling wrote on Instagram.

Jose Mourinho and Chris Smalling were reunited at Roma following a spell together at Manchester United

Jose Mourinho and Chris Smalling were reunited at Roma following a spell together at Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

‘No footballer wants to spend their days in a treatment room, and this period of time away from my teammates has challenged me, with setback after setback.

‘I have, and will always, put the needs of my teammates first, but the absolute priority for the medical team is to guarantee that I can play a significant role in the latter part of the season and for seasons to come.’

He added: ‘Guided only by specialists, I have been open to all solutions, short and long, and any insinuation that I have dictated a treatment plan are false.

Chris Smalling has missed the last four-and-half months with a knee injury (Picture: Getty)
Jose Mourinho and Chris Smalling spent two years together at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

‘With surgery not an option proposed by any specialist I have engaged with, I have to trust the expertise that guides my recovery plan which, contrary to popular belief, does include painkillers. A lot of them, in fact.’

Mourinho, meanwhile, has already been replaced at the Roma helm by club legend Daniele De Rossi.

‘I would like to thank the Friedkin family for entrusting me with the responsibility of Roma’s head coach role,’ said the former club captain after he was confirmed in the job.

From my side, I know no other way but dedication, daily sacrifices, and giving everything I have in order to face the challenges that await us from now until the end of the season,” said De Rossi.

‘The excitement of being able to sit on our bench is indescribable. Everyone knows what Roma means to me. However, the work that awaits us all has already taken precedence.

‘We have no time or choice but to be competitive, fight for our goals, and try to achieve them, which are the only priorities my staff and I have set for ourselves.’

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