Jermaine Jenas has launched an astonishing verbal attack on Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho after labelling his comments about Marcus Rashford earlier in the season “disgusting”.

The former England international was far from impressed with Mourinho’s criticism of Rashford after his performance in the defeat by Brighton and Hove Albion, with the 19-year-old missing a late chance in front of goal that could have got United back on level terms.

Mourinho used his post-match press conference that day to explain that Rashford’s miss shows why the Portuguese always selects striker Romelu Lukaku when he is available, which led Jenas to hit out at the United manager for appearing to take pleasure in seeing some players fail.

“I found what he did after that Brighton game disgusting to be honest with you,” Jenas said on BBC Radio Five Live. “When you are managing a young player like Marcus Rashford, the thing that I really didn’t like about it was for him to come out as publicly as he did at that time. 

“The comments about Lukaku were a direct shot at Rashford. Now, it was almost like he enjoyed the failure of Rashford. 

“It gave him the opportunity to say ‘shut up, I am right and you’re wrong’ and that is not a point you should be using on a young player.”

Rashford has made 35 appearances in the Premier League this season, although fewer than half of those have been starts and he has increased his playing time on last season by just 103 minutes, with the teenager having to regularly play second-fiddle to Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez and compete with Anthony Martial, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard for the remaining places in the United attack.

The comments following the defeat at Brighton on 4 May certainly raised eyebrows at the time, given that United little to play for with a top-four finish already secure.

“You have the answer now when you ask ‘why always Lukaku?’” Mourinho has said. “We are probably not as good as people think we are individually.

“It was not good enough. The players that replaced others did not perform at a good level and when individuals do that it is difficult for the team to play well. Maybe now you will not ask me why A, B and C do not play so much.

“I knew what was going to happen and I told them, but that is what we got.”

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