Jose Mourinho has come out in defence of his record at Manchester United following his side’s defeat to Sevilla in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Man United were expected to stroll past the La Liga side but their evening quickly turned into a nightmare, with the home side unable to unhinge Sevilla’s defence and ultimately punished by a two quick Wassim Ben Yedder goals.
The reaction from supporters has been charged with fury to say the least following a performance devoid of attacking ambition or purpose.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of United’s FA Cup clash with Brighton and Hove Albion, Mourinho was quick to hit back at those questioning his credentials as United boss.
“I am not going to run away or disappear or to cry because I heard a few boos, I’m not going to disappear from the tunnel, running immediately, the next match I will be the first to go out,” he said. “I am not afraid of my responsibilities.”
“When I was 20 I was nobody in football, I was somebody’s son, with a lot of pride, and now with 55 I am what I am I did what I did because of work and because of talent and my mentality.
“So they can be together, I understand that for many many many years was really really hard for the people who doesn’t like me, here he is again, here he wins again.
“For 10 months I win nothing, the last title that I won was 10 months ago, I beat Liverpool, Chelsea, I lose against Sevilla and now is their moment to be happy. I learn that in my religious formation, be happy with others happiness, so be it, I am a really happy guy.”
Mourinho spoke for 12 and a half minutes without stopping at today’s press conference. He even brought notes. Just like us, he has done plenty of thinking over the last few days.
This is not to say that the 55-year-old, having seen his methods crumble on the biggest of stages, is thinking about adapting his approach in any way. His central point here, as it was with that quote in the aftermath on Tuesday, is that expectations need to be tempered. United no longer have the pedigree in Europe’s biggest competition that they once did; nor do they have the same chemistry as a collective unit.
To him, this team is far from the finished article. More work needs to be done. And he is right, of course. But that by no means excuses the manner in which United went out against Sevilla – so limp, so unambitious, so disjointed – on what was their biggest night of the season.