'We are not as good as people think' - Jose Mourinho rips into his Man United players after defeat at Brighton
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho launched a stinging attacking on his players after they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Brighton.
The victory for Chris Hughton's side secures their place in the Premier League for another year and few could argue they deserved the victory secured by a second half Pascal Gross goal.
Yet it is the fallout from Mourinho's comments that are likely to create headlines for days to come, with the United manager claiming he got the sub-standard performance he expected from a revamped team.
Marcis Rojo, Matteo Darmian, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were given starts by Mourinho, yet it was his forward who came in for the biggest criticism on a night when they failed to produce an attacking spark.
Speculation over the United future of Martial has been mounting in recent weeks and these comments from Mourinho would suggest he is not convinced he is good enough to claim a place in his long-term plans.
"It was not good enough," declared a straight-talking Mourinho.
"The players that replaced others did not perform at a good level and when individuals do that it is difficult for the team to play well. Maybe now you will not ask me why A, B and C do not play so much.
"I knew what was going to happen and I told them, but that is what we got.
"The attitude from the first minute and especially in the first half, they had more appetite. I did not succeed in persuading my players that getting four more points is important. It is for me, but perhaps not for them.
"I wouldn't say disappointed. I know them. I thought that the possibility to start the game and give reason would give them something.
"You have the answer now when you ask 'why always Lukaku?'. We are probably not as good as people think we are individually."
When asked whether Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez would shake off injuries to be fit for the FA Cup final against Chelsea later this month, Mourinho insisted his focus was on securing second place in the Premier League.
"I hope they can play in the final, but we have a different target first," he added. "We have two matches and need four points.
"I just feel that every match is a match, every match is important, doesn't matter the objectives you have to play always with the same mentality, even if you don't have some targets to achieve. I prefer to finish second than finish third, no doubts about it."
The result meant United have now lost to all three newly promoted sides this season, as the loss at Brighton added to defeats against Huddersfield and Newcastle.