Deco insists Manchester United’s players need to ‘deal with’ Jose Mourinho’s public criticism if they want to stay at the club.
The Portuguese has taken his fiery, no-holds-barred approach to Old Trafford, which has been questioned.
Luke Shaw got both barrels after being accused of failing to pick up his man when Watford scored in United’s surprise 3-1 defeat.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard were also singled out following the the Manchester derby defeat to City.
But Deco, who played for Mourinho at Porto, said: ‘If you are playing at a club like Chelsea, United, Barcelona, Madrid — the big clubs — you need to be prepared to do your best. If you want to play at a high level you need to be able deal with everything.’