Despite the fact that Premier League referee Anthony Taylor has previously pledged his allegiance to non-league Altrincham, the decision to put him in charge of Monday's Manchester United versus Liverpool game has caused a fair bit of controversy.
Liverpool fans, in particular, have been up in arms since the announcement was made because, with Taylor heralding from the Greater Manchester area, they are worried he will show bias towards United.
Despite the Premier League ref's Altrincham connections coming to light since, it hasn't stopped some talking of a conspiracy and Taylor's performance will undoubtedly be under increased scrutiny thanks to the recent speculation. That hasn't exactly been helped by Jose Mourinho's latest comments on the situation.
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Speaking via The Mirror, the Red Devils boss appeared to employ some of his legendary mind games ahead of tomorrow's crunch fixture - arguing that it will be "difficult" for Taylor to referee the game amidst the debate created in recent days.
"I think Mr Taylor is a very good referee," said Mourinho. "But I think somebody with intention is putting such a pressure on him that I feel it will be difficult for him to have a very good performance.
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"I have my view but I understood and I learned a lesson by being punished so many times for some words so I don't want to say anything [more] about it."
This is classic Mourinho. Appearing to offer a sympathetic view of Taylor's predicament, the Portuguese appears to be subtly putting his own pressure on the referee to make sure he puts in a good performance.
Of course, for the United boss, that means not being afraid to punish Liverpool players for any offence committed.
Given the high-pressure environment that surrounds any game between the two Premier League giants, there are undoubtedly going to be some key decisions to be made by the match officials.
Hopefully, Taylor is able to waylay any fears Liverpool fans may still have about his ability to do his job and he isn't the talking point come full time.
Nevertheless, Mourinho himself doesn't seem to worried about the experienced official over compensating and disciplining his own players as a result.
"Our disciplinary record is really, really good. We don't have problems at all at this level," Mourinho explained, via ESPN.
"We are a team that plays with discipline, that is following everything that was told to us in the meetings that we had with the representatives of the Premier League and the referees.
"We don't press referees, we behave on the touchline so that's a point that we are very comfortable with."
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