Friday 22 February 2019

Jose Mourinho: "From a strategic point of view we didn't lose, the tactical point of view we didn't lose, but we lost"

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

Mark Critchley

Jose Mourinho claimed that Manchester United did not lose to Tottenham Hotspur in a ‘strategic’ and ‘tactical’ sense despite their 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford on Monday night.

A Harry Kane header and two Lucas Moura goals consigned United to their second defeat of the new Premier League season, which is still just three games old.

United were not as poor as in their last outing, against Brighton and Hove Albion, and would have led had Romelu Lukaku not spurned his first-half attempt at an open goal.

This was, nevertheless, the heaviest home defeat of Mourinho’s managerial career, even if the United manager felt his side deserved more from the game.

“We work all week, and by the strategic point of view we didn’t lose, by the tactical point of view we didn’t lose, but we lost the game,” he told Sky Sports.

“We work very, very well during the week, we prepared the game very well, we played very well, the players had a fantastic attitude.

“At half-time the result should be two goals different minimum – 2-0, 3-1, 3-0. And then something changed the game a little bit.

“Then the result was 2-0 but the team was in the game, and I think everyone could feel one goal could change the direction of the game.

“I think Tottenham felt it, we were feeling that too. But then the third goal came and killed the game.”

Mourinho stood in front of Old Trafford’s Stretford End after the final whistle, applauding those supporters that had stayed behind.

Many others had left not long after Lucas’ second and Tottenham’s third of the night, but Mourinho believes he retains the support of United’s fan base.

The Portuguese also claimed that United’s “intelligent” supporters would ignore the mounting speculation regarding his future and reports of internal disputes at the club.

“All our fans don’t read papers, all our fans don’t watch television, all our fans are more intelligent than that,” he said.

“They answer in an absolutely amazing way. I don’t think it’s normal for a team to lose 3-0 at home, and for the supporters to react in that way.

“I just think that if anyone that watched this game and many thousands of our fans looked at the game, one thing they know for sure is that the team is united.

“A team doesn’t fight the way they fought, give everything they gave if the team is not united.”

Mourinho added: “The team that fights the way they did, with the empathy between the players, solidarity between the players, with the dignity to play together for Manchester United.

“To lose at home of course is a very difficult thing for anyone, but I think one thing is clear, the team is united. There are no union without the manager.”

Independent News Service

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