Jose Mourinho has sent a message to Manchester United supporters in the wake of their side’s 1-1 draw with Swansea City, noting that the players gave everything in spite of growing levels of fatigue within the squad.
Man United, playing their ninth game since the start of the month, made a languid start but took the lead on the stroke of half time through a Wayne Rooney penalty.
Gylfi Sigurdsson responded for the visitors with a superb free kick after 79 minutes to condemn Mourinho’s men to their tenth home draw of the season.
But Mourinho, speaking after the game, was quick to note that his men gave everything in the face of immense fatigue.
“Did the supporters know it? Because if they did they would be more supportive of the players. They give everything, deserve everything and are their limits,” he said.
“The team is in trouble, the boys are in trouble. But when you give everything I cannot demand more. I’m not happy with the result. I’m very happy with the boys.”
It was apparent to anybody watching this game that United had played a full 19 games – half a season, basically – more than Swansea this season. Football is meant to be a pure, fluid enterprise, but this felt like trench warfare for the handful of United players not consigned to the treatment table.
Injuries to Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw during the game only seemed to compound the sheer scarcity of United’s current predicament under Mourinho. That’s now nine first team injuries the Portuguese has to contend with, and with games still coming thick and fast – such as the small matter of Europa League semi-final – United will have to dig seriously deep over these next few weeks.