Sunday 21 October 2018

Mourinho rounds on players after defeat

Huddersfield Town’s Laurent Depoitre celebrates scoring his side’s second goal in the 2-1 Premier League win over Manchester United at the John Smith’s Stadium yesterday. Photo: Nigel French/PA
Huddersfield Town’s Laurent Depoitre celebrates scoring his side’s second goal in the 2-1 Premier League win over Manchester United at the John Smith’s Stadium yesterday. Photo: Nigel French/PA

Daniel Taylor

Jose Mourinho turned on his Manchester United players after watching them go down to a shock 2-1 defeat at Huddersfield Town and said he could not remember another match since he joined the club where the attitude of his team had been so poor.

United's first league defeat of the season - and their first at Huddersfield since 1952 - leaves them five points behind Manchester City at the top of the Premier League and Mourinho was as critical of his players as at any time since taking over from Louis van Gaal.

"I don't even remember a friendly match where our attitude was so poor," he said. "When I lose matches, I like to lose because the opponent was better and had more quality. But when you lose because of attitude, that is really bad.

"I heard Ander Herrera in his flash [television] interview saying the attitude and desire was poor. Oh my God, when a player says that, or a player feels that, I think they should all go to the press conference and explain why - because I cannot explain that. It concerns me because if it happened today why can't it happen tomorrow?"

A dismal afternoon for United was compounded by the first-half injury that forced off Phil Jones shortly before Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre scored within five minutes of one another to give Huddersfield a 2-0 lead. Victor Lindelof, Jones's replacement, had a torrid game, badly at fault for the second goal, but Mourinho's anger was directed towards the entire team on a day when Juan Mata and Anthony Martial were both substituted at half-time.

"The mistakes - him [Lindelof] for the second goal and Mata for the first goal - are mistakes that belong in the context. If you play an amazing game and lose to an individual mistake, yes, you point the finger. But that was not the case here. In the first half I was waiting for it. It was Mata and Victor but it could have been another player because the attitude was really poor.

"I feel really disappointed and if I was a Manchester United supporter - not a manager but a traditional supporter - I would be really disappointed. You can play and lose a football match because the opponent had more quality than you. But you cannot lose because the opponent had a better attitude than you, so I am really disappointed.

"They [Huddersfield] played how I like. They played with everything they have, how I like, and like it has to be. They played with everything: aggression, desire, motivation, sacrifice. They played with everything and we didn't. So the team that deserved to win won - simple."

Marcus Rashford's 78th-minute goal set up a tense finish but Huddersfield's manager David Wagner agreed with Mourinho that it was a deserved victory, describing it as "one of the top three moments I have had, personally, as manager of this club".

Wagner added: "This is a very proud moment. We all know how huge it is that we have beaten Man United. We have to make totally clear so everyone understands what is extraordinary and what is ordinary.

"Today was extraordinary. I live in Huddersfield so I know how huge this is for this town, the supporters, the chairman, the board. This is a very special moment."

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