Jose Mourinho believes that his Manchester United side were not good enough during their first leg 2-0 win over Hull City in the League Cup on Tuesday night.
The home side begun brightly, creating a number of early chances through Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, before petering out as half-time approached.
Mourinho’s men improved after the break, displaying greater levels of urgency and purpose going forward, and took firm control of the tie through goals from Mata and Marouane Fellaini.
But the 53-year-old, speaking after the game, made it clear that he expects more from his side.
“Of course they were very well organised defensively as I was expecting and it was not easy for us,” he said.
“But I think we were a bit sloppy, overcomplicating things, always delaying the decision giving them time to regroup.
“It was not our best first half. I think in the first half the players, they have to do better. I have to do better. The fans, they also can do better.
“In the second half we all improve a little bit, just a little bit.”
This was Man United’s ninth win in a row – an ultimately comfortable win that places Mourinho’s men in a great position to claim a trophy that has eluded them for seven years.
And yet, at the same time, United fans will know that their side can produce far more than what was seen against Marco Silva’s side. Mourinho has created a culture at Old Trafford that demands more than well-deserved 2-0 wins against sides rooted to the bottom of the league.
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal would be all smiles after such an outcome, but the Portuguese – a serial winner, intent on not just claiming victory but indeed romping to victory in the right way – has higher, more United-esque standards.