Zlatan Ibrahimovic backs Jose Mourinho at Man Utd

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The Red Devils are currently seven points adrift of a Champions League spot, albeit with two matches in-hand on fourth-placed Manchester City.

Ibrahimovic, who is in fine touch and has made a significant contribution to the club's remarkable run of 20 matches without a loss, gave the Daily Mail his assessment of the club's often-controversial manager.

"I think the coach is doing the absolute maximum with the team he has. 200 percent," the Swede said. "If we were good enough to be No. 1, we would be No. 1 in the table.

“He still has the same winning mentality, because that you don't lose. When you have it, you have it. It is nothing you learn or can try to be. Either you are, or you are not."

Ibrahimovic, whose one-year contract expires at the end of the season and who has given little indication as to the likelihood of an extension, feels that the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss' notoriously confrontational management style is something he feels comfortable playing under.

"I know him very well. He is direct in his work," the 35-year old said. "He likes to look into your eyes and tell you if you're sh-t or not. I prefer that.

"He sends you the message he is thinking and he is the boss, he decides and controls the situation. It is the way it works and I am from the old generation, which I think was more like that.

"At half-time against Everton he told us we were not good enough. We should hear it because we were not."