Date published: Wednesday 26th September 2018 7:47
Jose Mourinho insists he won’t go overboard in criticising his players after seeing the first trophy avenue of the season close on Manchester United.
The Red Devils – rocked by a fresh storm surrounding Paul Pogba before hand – were second best for long periods as Derby proved their credentials and eventually claimed a dramatic 8-7 victory in a penalty shootout.
Phil Jones missed the crucial spot-kick for United – but Mourinho insists he would not blame the player and instead would analyse where it went wrong over the 90 minutes after his 10 men scraped a 2-2 draw in injury-time to take the match to penalties.
“You know it happened that we didn’t score when we could, and we could in the first half,” the United manager told Sky Sports before swerving the post-match press conference.
“We had good situations to kill it. We didn’t and at half-time I repeated basically the same words I said in the last match, telling the players that their dressing room was for sure a dressing room with belief because the result was open and because they were playing quite well.
“We need to go and to kill the game, which we didn’t. We couldn’t be dominant in the beginning of the second half and only after their equaliser we had again that reaction that I don’t like.
“I prefer not a reaction, I prefer to be proactive and to go for it. But then we go for it only after the 1-1 and after the red card, we are in a bit of difficulty.
“But even then with one man less, it was a reaction of pride, a reaction of a group that didn’t want to lose the game and that tried until the last second.
“Then the penalties come, and somebody has to miss. And when I saw it going after the sixth, the seventh (penalty) I knew that we were going to be in trouble with Jones, with Eric (Bailly). I knew we were going to be in trouble then.”
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