Wednesday 21 February 2018

Jose Mourinho: 'I would rather Man Utd went 20 games unbeaten than five points further up the table'

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

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has defended his side’s woeful record at their Old Trafford home after confessing they are finding it ‘impossible’ to break down teams that set out with a defensive mindset.

Last Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Everton’s was United’s NINTH stalemate on home soil in the Premier League this season, with their failure to convert draws into wins putting a sever dent in their homes of securing a top four finish and qualification for next season’s Champions League.

Only relegation strugglers Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Swansea and Crystal Palace have won fewer home matches than United this season, but Mourinho defended his side’s record and insisted the opposition should be blamed for their failings.

“I still think in spite of the bad results we are strong at home,” he argued. “Why? Because we lost only one game and we know why we lost that, because strange things happened during it. One defeat at home all in competitions and what makes me think we are strong is the way opponents play against us.

“It’s impossible for us to score on the counterattack. We are not strong enough because we are not winning, we are not good enough to score the goals that we should.

“We are giving the opponents’ goalkeeper a chance to be so many time the man of the match and I repeat the same that I told in the last match, it’s not a critic, but many, many decisions that punished us during the whole season.”

Ahead of Sunday’s trip to Sunderland, Mourinho insisted he can take encouragement from the 20-game unbeaten run his side have put together in the Premier League, even if though they have head into this weekend’s game sitting sixth in the table.

“I think it’s a good feeling to know we don’t lose many matches, that we have a fantastic run of 20 games unbeaten in the Premier League,” he added.

“I know as an example 10 matches, 10 draws, 10 points. Or 10 matches, five victories, five defeats, 15 points. What’s better? The 15 points obviously.

“But in terms of looking to the future, I prefer to look at 10 matches, 10 draws because you have something that’s not easy to have.

“You are quite solid mentally, difficult to beat, you fight against difficult circumstances, that kind of mentality of resilience, it’s good to have it, but the points are the reality and it would be better for us in 10 matches to have five victories and five defeats.”

Mourinho confirmed that Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young will miss Sunday's game against Sunderland, with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Juan Mata all likely to miss the rest of the season due to injuries.

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