Jose Mourinho questions Manchester United players’ heart

Jose Mourinho questioned his Manchester United players’ heart after picking up a ‘bad result’ in the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.

United now sit 14 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, with an uphill task to qualify for next season’s Champions League, after they failed to make their possession count at Old Trafford.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Mourinho said his players had not attached enough importance on this game, and said there was not enough desire shown.

“Not enough intensity, not enough desire, so I think we played a game like ‘one more game’, but I don’t think it was ‘one more game’, it was a game that we really need to win. There are matches that are special matches that are not just ‘one more’, and this was not just ‘one more’.

“My feeling is that there was not enough from the heart, it was played with brain and also with heart, I think not enough heart.”

After a journalist suggested the least players can do is play with heart, Mourinho said: “I agree.”

He was then asked what the solution was, answering: “What’s the solution… you cannot change players’ natures dramatically. The solution is that probably I have to make certain choices based on heart. And then probably I will blame myself because I will think heart is not enough and I am missing here some quality.”

Crystal Palace had several clear-cut chances to win the game, and Mourinho admits it is obvious his side must do better as they approach the busy winter period.

He told Sky Sports: “[It’s] a bad point. When the objective is to chase the top four and to close step by step the distance to these teams and you start that period of eight Premier League matches until the end of December, it’s obviously a bad start.

“I give them credit, obviously. But I don’t want to try to show we draw because they were phenomenal. I praise them. They were defensively very well organised. The goalkeeper made a couple of fantastic saves, they were always waiting for a little chance to be dangerous in counter-attack. They played their game and they played well.

“We need to improve, of course, I am disappointed with the performance. Again, you are right, it is not nice just to blame the team that is favourite in the game for not winning, it is also football to praise the opponent that came here and gave everything for that point. But we obviously have to do better.”

United brought back Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba for the visit of Palace, and despite starting well, they could not break through a Palace defence who have not earned a league clean sheet in seven games.

Mourinho said his United side were not aggressive, ambitious or intense enough, and says they allowed the game to pass them by.

“In the first half I would say we needed a little bit more aggression. Because we found well the spaces that tactical system gives because we knew the spaces they were not giving. We found that well.

“But we were not enough ambitious or intensity to do it. And in the second part of the game we need to score big chances that we have. Credit also to Hennessey. But then we change our profile, the quality of the game went obviously down but at least we arrived in dangerous and scoring positions.

“I think once more we waste time, we waste time by allowing the game to go without us really chasing it since the first moment.”

 

Source: Sky Sports

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