Wednesday 16 January 2019

Jose Mourinho offers up alternative view of his side's woeful performance against Sevilla

Jose Mourinho and (inset) Marcus Rashford after defeat
Jose Mourinho and (inset) Marcus Rashford after defeat
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho refused to criticise his players after their shock Champions League exit at the hands of Sevilla at Old Trafford.

Mourinho's cautious tactics have been questioned time and again by his critics in recent weeks and now the spotlight will fall firmly on the Portuguese boss after his worst defeat as United manager.

He tried to paint an upbeat vision of what lies ahead for his team in the final weeks of the season after this chastening defeat, which is certain to inspire some stinging criticism.

"We tried to be aggressive and intense from the first minute," declared Mourinho, as he offered up a vision of the game that few would agree with. "We didn't score and Sevilla progressively kept the ball, and they controlled the game well.

"I think the first goal was always going to be important, not just because of the first leg result but also the profile of the match. We had good chances to score, but they scored one goal and from that moment everything became much more emotional. The second goal made it impossible.

"We had good periods, we didn't have great control over the game, but I can't say there was anything wrong with my players and their intention to play.

"That's football, we lost, but tomorrow is another day and Saturday is another match. I'm pleased the players aren't hiding their sadness, but we have no time for drama. I feel exactly the same. We have to work because Saturday we have an important match (FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton).

"We still have the FA Cup to try and win. A very good team like Tottenham, they only have the FA Cup and Liverpool don't have the FA Cup, they only have the Champions League. We have to go again."

Mourinho's comments to BT Sport were upbeat in the face of adversity, yet his comments in his press conference may bemuse many United fans, as he reflected on his past success against United during his time in charge of Porto and Real Madrid and insisted this defeat should not be viewed as a disaster.

"I don't want to make a drama out of it. We have no time for that. We have no time to be sad for more than 24 hours. That's football, that's not the end of the world," he added.

"I sit in this chair twice in the Champions League and I knock out Man United at home at Old Trafford. I sit in this chair with Porto...Man United out. I sit in this chair with Real Madrid...Man United out. I don't think this is something new for the club."

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