The attitude of Manchester United’s players in Friday night’s 1-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion cannot be excused, according to manager Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese boss slammed his players publicly after a third defeat out of three away fixtures against promoted sides this evening.
Man United’s record against the supposed smaller sides of the division away from home is quite frankly embarrassing, and there have been some terrible home results, too.
Despite being Arsenal last weekend, the Reds were terrible at the Amex Arena. Mourinho was furious.
“I told them before the match what was going to happen. I told them at half-time what was going to happen. I knew it and I told them,” Mourinho said, describing Brighton’s attitude, with the Seagulls needing a win to secure Premier League football next season.
“Of course, a positive reaction in the last 20 minutes. That’s obviously normal, nobody likes to lose. You always try [then].”
Mourinho accepted his team could have scored late on, but said it wouldn’t have mattered, because the attitude shown already was telling of the players’ long-term attitude.
“We could obviously score a goal and get a point,” Mourinho continued, “but the overall attitude from the first minute, and especially in the first half; they were obviously stronger than us, had more appetite than us, they felt the game with more emotions.
“I didn’t succeed in convincing my players that there are four points we need to secure for second.
“For me, it is important, but for some of my players, it doesn’t look like it’s very important [finishing second].”
Mourinho has called out his players publicly. And after a season of inconsistency where United have turned up for the big games but been lazy, sloppy and shown little desire in the small games until conceding or until late on, it’s deserved.
Hopefully, it has the desired effect.