Monday 22 May 2017

'Some players are in real trouble' - Jose Mourinho's confession after his side's NINTH home draw

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho accepted that some of his players are lacking in self-belief, as his side drew their ninth home

Premier League game of the season with a 1-1 against Everton at Goodison Park.

A last gasp Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty extended United's unbeaten run in the Premier League to 20 games, but they remain in fifth place and four points behind Manchester City in the race for a top four finish and qualification to next season's Champions League.

Paul Pogba was one of the star names who struggled for United as he returned from injury and Mourinho admitted after the game that a lack of confidence is now an issue for his team to overcome as the head into the final few weeks of the season.

“Some players are really in trouble," admitted Mourinho. "Some with the physical levels, some others with the confidence levels low. It is difficult for them to perform better.

"The performance was not very good. The spirit in the second half was phenomenal, but we played better in other matches."

Mourinho then renewed his call for a video replay system (VAR) to be introduced to the Premier League, after Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw his second half goal disallowed for off-side when TV footage suggested it should have been allowed to stand.

"With the VAR, we would have won this game 2-1 because it was not an off-side, but it was a difficult one for the linesman. I am not critical of him at all," he added.

“When the video comes, we will help them, the referees and the linesman. If there is any doubt, advantage should go to the team that attacks.

"Video replay will be welcome by everyone, especially them, because no-one wants to make these mistakes."

Meanwhile, Mourinho admitted United’s hopes of a top four finish had suffered a damaging blow after more dropped points at Old Trafford, as he accepted they are now relying on others to slip-up to seal a place in next season’s Champions League via the Premier League route.

“More difficult, very difficult,” he added. “It is mathematically possible, but depends on our opponents. It is an amazing run of 20 matches unbeaten, but too many draws at home and because of that we are in the position we are.

“We build well but we don’t score enough goals, we don’t kill off enough opponents and at the end of this season I think we will be punished by that.”

Mourinho hinted he may now have to prioritise trying to win the Europa League, which would also secure United a place in next season’s Champions League.

United face a Europa League quarter-final against Anderlecht later this month, with Mourinho’s side installed as the bookies favourites to lift the trophy in Stockholm on May 24th.

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