Jose Mourinho has hailed the Manchester United supporters after the Reds were fortunate to beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 at home.
The Portuguese has complained with relative regularity about Man United’s home support, while being full of praise for the away fans. However, he admitted his pleasant surprise at their commitment in Saturday’s win at Old Trafford.
Ashley Young’s shot was deflected in off Lewis Dunk to give United the three points despite a miserable performance from Mourinho’s side.
“Honestly, it is quite a surprise for me but I think the supporters were fantastic,” Mourinho said, a sort of back-handed compliment
“We had matches at home where we played really, really well and they were a bit soft.
“They were behind the team. The team was not playing well, the team was 0-0, they support the team, they support the players.
“Then in the last part of the game, at home at Old Trafford we had problems against Brighton, a newly promoted team, and the supporters were behind the team. They support the team, they support the players, so also really happy with them.”
United’s home support is very questionable. Far too often large sections of the ground are inaudible. It’s partly down to the club: ticket prices, allowing the resale of tickets to tourists, stewards telling fans to sit down, over-priced food and drink meaning fans don’t arrive until after kick-off, young fans not being able to sit together.
There are a plethora of club-based issues. But at the same time, the fans must do more. It’s not too rare to be told to sit down by another fan at United games, as this writer experience even at the FA Cup Final at Wembley after Jesse Lingard’s dramatic winner.
The club must do more, the fans must do more, but Mourinho is right to bring the issue to focus.