Tuesday 21 May 2019

Jose defends 'attitude' but Ferdinand hits out at cautious approach

Jose Mourinho and (inset) Marcus Rashford
Jose Mourinho and (inset) Marcus Rashford

Jamie Holland

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho refused to question the attitude of his side after they were knocked out of the Champions League following a 2-1 defeat by Seville at Old Trafford.

Wissam Ben Yedder came off the bench to score a brace and render Romelu Lukaku's late goal pointless.

"The first goal will be always important in this match not just because of the first-leg result but also because of the style of the match," Mourinho told BT Sport 2.

"We tried since the first minute to be aggressive and intense and I could find some similarities between the beginning of this game and against Liverpool last weekend, but then we didn't score and Sevilla progressively kept the ball and were quite confident having the ball and hiding the ball from us and controlling the game well.

"We had good periods. I wouldn't say we had great control of the game but I couldn't say my players had something wrong in terms of their attitude and their intention to play."

United followed Tottenham out of Europe following their Champions League exit to Juventus last week.

Mourinho, however, was philosophical about the Red Devils' trophy hopes this season, with the FA Cup now carrying all the weight of their lofty silverware expectations.


"A fantastic team like Tottenham has to do exactly the same as us," the Portuguese added. "Liverpool has the Champions League but doesn't have the FA Cup. That's football, that's life. We lost and tomorrow is another day and Saturday is another match.

"Every player is sad and they don't hide that sadness. That is something that pleases me because I feel exactly the same but we have no time for dramas because on Saturday we have to work as we have an important match."

However, former United captain Rio Ferdinand didn't agree with Mourinho's assessment.

"They just played nervous and cautious from the beginning," he said on BT Sport. "In these games you've got to take the game by the scruff of the neck. That takes personality.

"It takes characters to do that in this stadium. You've got to give the fans something to chant about. This stadium tonight was quiet, and that's down to the players."

He continued: "The attitude just seemed off, lethargic."

Paul Scholes was also critical of the display.

"They approach every game conservatively," he said. "Some they get away with, because they get a win. Tonight they had nothing - no energy, no fast start... the performance was very bad."

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