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Essien backs “father figure” Mourinho

Former Chelsea player Michael Essien insists that under-fire Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho will do all he can to turn things around at the club.

Signed from Lyon in 2005, Essien embodied the perfect Mourinho player, someone who would not hesitate to sacrifice himself for the team. Such was their bond that the Portuguese manager even took him to Real Madrid on loan when everything appeared to be crumbling around him.

And despite everything that’s going on at United right now, Essien believes that Mourinho is still the fighter he has always been.

“For me, Jose is still the same. He hasn’t changed. He still has the fighting spirit, he’s still going to work hard to change things. For me he is always the same.

“He had a very big influence on me and we’ll always have this father and son relationship. He’s a fighter and a winner and he wants to win. Knowing him he’ll do everything to change things,” he said in an exclusive interview with Sportsmail.

Manchester United are currently eighth in the Premier League and seven points behind leaders Manchester City.

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