Jose Mourinho could not hide his disappointment with his Manchester United side after a frustrating 1-1 draw with Wolves.
The Manchester United manager, who spoke to MUTV and at his press conference, offered no excuses and was not pleased with his players’ contribution.
“They faced the game and I think they deserve [it] because they played like I like to play, which is like the World Cup final. That’s the attitude I like my teams to have every match. We didn’t have that. They did, we didn’t. Their attitude made the difference. They were in the game from the first minute. They play every ball and every second in the maximum intensity and desire and we didn’t. We started poorly, we started both halves at a low intensity and it’s difficult to win matches when you are not there with everything you have,” Mourinho said.
He said, “That [every game is important] is something you learn when you are a kid in the Academy. You don’t need to have experiences at the highest level to learn that. That’s a basic law of football. You have to play with the maximum of your potential and the maximum of your focus. Unless you are playing in such a weak league where you are playing against weak opponents and then playing 20 per cent of potential is enough to win. That’s not the case and we all know that. It was a poor start and then we were lucky to score the goal before them. And then winning, we start the second half again at a low intensity. Then we concede the goal and obviously we reacted but were not creative enough or sharp enough in the last third. Of course, we had a couple of chances to score and win the game but not enough.
“I expect my team to make a better game than we did. If we had played against Wolves like we played against Tottenham, I think we win. It looks a contradiction but I am more disappointed today than I was against Tottenham because, against Tottenham, we obviously lost the game but I liked very much my team’s performance. Today, of course we had a better result, one point is better than zero, but I didn’t like my team.”
On what he needs to do with the team, Mourinho said, “I can’t explain a difference of attitude because I never have a difference of attitude. For me, it’s difficult to explain that. We won three matches away, we come home with a good spirit. We come home let’s say in peace because we recover. And then you start in a poor way. I could say we were tired after playing in the Champions League on an awful pitch, the body suffers a different impact than a match on natural grass, not coming home after the match. I could go in this direction but we had [Jesse] Lingard and Alexis [Sanchez] who didn’t play. [Marouane] Fellaini played 20, 25 minutes, Fred played 60 minutes, [Antonio] Valencia also didn’t play so we didn’t have a team that was in big trouble with an accumulation of matches. So, yes, I think there is a mental situation and attitude. Again one team was coming to play the game of their lives and another one was too relaxed.
“It was a situation that the players knew perfectly. The pressing midfield, these two Portuguese boys, are both the kind of player that like to bite, that like to press over a short distance. We know they don’t give you the time to have the ball, to turn, to take two touches. You don’t have too much of that so you concede in a situation that is even harder to accept. But that is one goal you have conceded and you have 90 minutes to show a different attitude and I think we have to do better.
“I don’t want to get excuses from that. We are professionals of course. There’s a little bit of consequences but, for example, Lingard and Alexis they didn’t play in that match. They were totally fresh and they were part of the team.”
On Sir Alex Ferguson being back, he said, “That’s fantastic news, for everyone, not just for the Manchester United family. I think it’s for everybody in the world of football, even in the world. It’s great news for everyone that he is back and healthy again.”