Jose Mourinho discusses Phil Jones’ performance against Stoke City

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho has reacted to Phil Jones‘ mistake that enabled Stoke City to score a second half equaliser during their 2-2 draw with Manchester United.

The 54-year-old’s side overturned Jean-Eric Choupo-Moting’s first half strike through goals from Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku either side of half time.

Six minutes later, however, Jones failed to maintain his composure at a corner, slipped, and allowed Choupo-Moting to score his second of the game.

And Mourinho, speaking after the draw with Mark Hughes’ men, was quick to acknowledge that Jones’ mistake cost United two points.

“It is not the moment to speak, he knows the mistake,” he said. “He doesn’t need me to go in to speak with him about it, so no problem.

“Mistakes are part of the game, he’s playing well for us, he’s probably tired after two consequent matches with the national team but he cannot play Tuesday so it is good that he gets his rest and opportunity for Lindelof and Smalling to play a Champions League match.”

Perhaps supporters needed a reality check and Jones, through his habitual clumsiness, provided us with exactly that. The Englishman, along with Eric Bailly, had been irresistible during the early stages of the campaign but his susceptibility to losing his assurance at vital times reared its ugly head once again at the Bet365 Stadium.

Stoke made life difficult for Jones with a litany of diagonal balls in Matteo Darmian‘s direction, stretching United’s back four – and the 25-year-old especially – to an awakward degree, and he will need to offer more positional astuteness to maintain his place in the starting XI over the next few weeks.

Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling will now have a chance to demonstrate their worth against FC Basel on Tuesday night.

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