‘When I speak about individuals and I am critical with them, you just don’t accept it’: Jose Mourinho refuses to blame Manchester United’s defenders for costly errors in Brighton defeat
Max Winters For Mailonline
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has refused to blame his defenders individually for their abysmal performances in a sobering defeat against Brighton on Sunday.
Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof came in for heavy criticism after a woeful defensive display at the AMEX Stadium saw the Seagulls take advantage with three first-half goals.
Glenn Murray put the hosts in front before Shane Duffy and Pascal Gross then scored either side of Romelu Lukaku’s close range header to inflict further misery on Mourinho.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho refused to blame his defenders for their errors
The Portuguese admitted to Sky Sports in his post-match interview that his defenders had made too many mistakes but refused to be drawn into a comment on their individual performances specifically.
He said: ‘Look when I speak about individuals and I am critical with them, you just don’t accept it. The press, pundits are very critical with me when I go in that direction so please don’t ask me to go in that direction because it’s not good for me.
‘I will be happy to analyse their performances when they are good. It’s good for me to come in front of the cameras and say “they have been fantastic” but don’t push me to the other side because it’s not good for me.
‘We made too many mistakes and we were punished by them. Sometimes players make them and you aren’t immediately punished but we were always punished by every mistake made. The team at half-time and in the second half tried but the accumulation of mistakes and punishment with goals I think step-by-step was giving happiness and confidence to Brighton and took it from us.’
Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof came in for criticism after a woeful display at the AMEX Stadium
Mourinho admitted his side lost track of their game plan and tactics after going 3-1 down
The boss admitted he was surprised that referee Kevin Friend blew for full time when he did
The Portuguese boss was optimistic when Lukaku pulled a goal back but then claimed his side lost track of their game plan when they once again went two goals down. He was also surprised that referee Kevin Friend blew for full time as soon as he did.
‘I was obviously not expecting big mistakes and we were punished by these mistakes and when you lose your confidence there is a tendency to lose a bit of confidence, lose some direction of the game plan.
‘We came here with a certain intention and then you score the first goal and hopefully reach the second half at 2-1. Then you make another error and you go into half-time with the players really down and Brighton are happy.
‘Another goal could have changed things again but our second goal arrived too late. We are used to the referees letting it go but Kevin (Friend) looked like he was in a hurry to finish the game. When the team was ready for that long last ball from (David) De Gea, Kevin was keen to end the game.’
Mourinho also revealed that he doesn’t think the injury which forced Alexis Sanchez to miss the game is serious and he should be back in action soon.
‘I don’t know (about a specific date) but let’s wait for the results of studies,’ he added. ‘I don’t think it’s a big thing. One or two weeks.’