Wednesday 23 May 2018

Jose Mourinho reveals details of text message from Man United chief ahead of FA Cup win against Spurs

Jose Mourinho toasts Manchester United's win against Tottenham at Wembley
Jose Mourinho toasts Manchester United's win against Tottenham at Wembley
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho suggested the criticism that has flowed in the direction of both him and his players this season was unjustified after their 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win against Tottenham at Wembley.

Ander Herrera's second half winner secured Mourinho a place in his third Cup Final in his second season as United manager and he didn't miss the opportunity to snap back at his doubters, after some stinging criticism in recent months.

Doubts over the futures of several of United's star players and even Mourinho's own position have been questioned at times in recent months, but he revealed he would have had the full support of the club's CEO Ed Woodward even if his side had lost against Spurs.

"We should ask ourselves why there is too many critics on all of us," stated Mourinho. "We can finish second in the league with six more points. To do that with all the fantastic teams we play against will be an achievement for a club that couldn't do it for a few years now.

"And it will be a fourth final in three years (included Louis van Gaal's 2016 FA Cup win). So, maybe too much criticism.

"I had this morning one simple SMS (text message) from one of my bosses Ed Woodward - he was saying that 'I believe we are going to win but if we don't the season is a good season, a season where everyone is professional and everyone is bringing the club in the right direction'. That's my feeling too.

"We can close the season in a final and that's a good achievement. But we need to focus on our six points and we deserve to finish second and to do that behind a fantastic team (Manchester City) is a good achievement."

Mourinho went on to lavish praise on his players, as Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba caught the eye after some indifferent performances in teh opening months of 2018.

"The players were all very good and when they are all good the team is solid and we can play against any team including Spurs, who are one of the top teams in Europe," he added.

"It was a great achievement to beat them in their stadium. We deserve it. If we split the match into periods we were the best team for many of these periods. Even when they had the ball when we were winning we were totally in control.

"We lost control after the 1-0. At half-time we spoke - we came back late for the second half because we spoke a lot - and organised ourselves. When you play away from home the supporters were phenomenal."

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Dele Alli was heartbroken after Tottenham's defeat

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino struggled to hide his disappointment as Spurs slumped to an eighth successive defeat in FA Cup semi-finals.

"I think every defeat is bad. It's difficult to accept but of course we are disappointed we are out and cannot achieve the final," he told the BBC.

"We competed but not enough to win. We dominated the first half and were much better than Manchester United.

"United defended very well and so deep. We are disappointed because we are so close. We need to think, move on, finish the season and try to finish in the top four.

"I think we need to understand where we have come from. It's easy to talk about winning trophies.

"To win a trophy when you face a side like Manchester United, Chelsea or Manchester City is not easy. But the most important thing is we are able to compete."

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