Jose Mourinho blasted the attitude of his Manchester United players after Saturday’s draw with Wolves and said he was more upset with the result than the heavy defeat to Tottenham.
United were held 1-1 by the Premier League new boys at Old Trafford to end a run of three straight wins and Mourinho said afterward his players were too “relaxed” while Wolves treated the game like a “World Cup final.”
“Not a good performance, not a good result,” Mourinho told a news conference.
“A fair result. Wolves, by the way, they faced the game, I think they deserve it. They play like I like to play which is like the World Cup final. That is the attitude I like my teams to have in every match. We didn’t have that. They did. That attitude made a difference.
“Come on, this is something you learn when you are a kid in the academy, you don’t need experiences at the highest level to learn that. It is a basic law of football, you have to play at the maximum of your potential.
“It is a bit of a contradiction but I’m more disappointed today than I was against Tottenham. Against Tottenham we lost the game but I liked very very much my team’s performance. Of course, we had a better result and one point is better than zero. But I did not like my team.”
United had just one full day to prepare for the game after travelling back from Switzerland on Thursday.
Still, Mourinho was able to make four changes to the team that beat Young Boys 3-0 — bringing back Antonio Valencia, Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard and Alexis Sanchez — and the Portuguese coach was in no mood to make excuses for his players.
“I can’t explain the difference of attitude because I never had a difference of attitude,” he said.
Joao Mourinho’s equaliser earned Wolves a point at Manchester United Getty
“For me, it is difficult to explain that. We won three matches away from home. We came back with a good spirit, in peace because we recovered. Then you start in a poor way. I could say we were tired, Champions League, awful pitch, the body suffers the different impact on an artificial rather than actual grass, not coming home after the match.
“I could go in this direction but Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard didn’t play. Fellaini played 20 or 25 minutes, Fred played 60 minutes, Valencia also didn’t play.
After two goals in midweek, Paul Pogba was the creator for United’s opener, laying the ball off for Fred to score his first United goal.
But it was the Frenchman who was at fault for Wolves’ equaliser after half-time when he was caught in possession in midfield in the build-up to Joao Moutinho’s strike.
“It is a situation where the players knew perfectly that they press in midfield,” Mourinho said.
“You don’t have much time to have the ball, to turn, to one-touch. You know you don’t have much of that. So you concede in a situation that it’s harder to accept. “That is one goal you concede. You have 90 minutes to show a different attitude. And I think we have to do better.”