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Manchester United 'training in car park' ahead of Northampton tie

SoccerBy Sunday World
Manchester United 'training in car park' ahead of Northampton tie

Images have emerged of the United squad that take on Northampton in the EFL Cup this evening apparently warming up in a rural car park.

The Red Devils play away to Northampton in the revamped League Cup this evening.

These images are circulating on Twitter, showing what appears to be the squad warming up in a vacant car park:

Both images via [email protected]

While the above photo is taken from a distance, what looks to be Marouane Fellaini's straw-coloured afro is visible on the right-hand side of the image while Daley Blind's man-bun is another giveaway. 

Suprisingly, Paul Pogba's snake-do isn't the haircut that gives away the club's rather curious choice of warm-up venue.

And this looks to almost definitely be Jose Mourinho:

The magic of the cup, indeed:

Mourinho's United are heading Northampton looking to avoid the ignominy of a fourth straight loss and an embarrassing EFL Cup exit.

Following Louis van Gaal's largely frustrating reign, the Portuguese's arrival, along with some big-name acquisitions, brought a feelgood factor back to Old Trafford.

Victory in the Community Shield was followed by three successive Premier League victories, but things have gone awry since returning from the international break.

The galling 2-1 derby defeat at home to Pep Guardiola's Manchester City was compounded by United's Europa League opener ending in a 1-0 loss at Feyenoord.

A third defeat followed as Watford triumphed 3-1 at Vicarage Road on Sunday, seeing Mourinho lose three competitive games in a row for the first time since August 2006.

That run has increased the pressure heading into an otherwise nondescript EFL Cup third-round trip to Northampton on Wednesday - hardly what had been expected after a positive summer and start to the season.

The group were recently said to be standing taller playing under Mourinho and with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with the Portuguese even said to have had a "hypnotic" presence.

However, Mourinho's criticism of Shaw for his positioning as Camilo Zuniga re-established Watford's lead on Sunday is reported to have shocked some team-mates.

It is something the England left-back is understood to be irritated about, especially given the manager had indicated such comments about individuals would be kept in-house.

Criticism of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard after the derby flew in the face of that, but United have expected such controversies and are relaxed about such flash points given how Sir Alex Ferguson ruffled feathers during his tenure.

United are understandably keen for a period of stability after a successful summer, but happiness will be brought by recapturing the Premier League.

The three-game losing streak was described as a "little crisis" by Fellaini and far from ideal in terms of that title tilt, with restoring a winning mentality key to a club synonymous with success.

Changes are expected at Sixfields and large question marks remain over the availability of Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial, with the latter involved in a nasty-looking clash on Sunday - a match in which Shaw sustained a slight groin tear.

Whoever lines up at Northampton, they and Mourinho can ill afford another bad result.