Jose Mourinho has slammed the attitude of his more senior Manchester United players for their efforts in Saturday afternoon’s 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Reds took the lead at Old Trafford thanks to a good finish from Brazilian summer signing Fred but surrendered it after half-time as Joao Moutinho struck back for the visitors.
Mourinho was dismayed by his side’s work rate in maintaining their advantage, particularly given how Wolves had dominated the early proceedings of the game and United had hardly deserved to go in front in the 18th-minute.
Unlike Wolves, who harried United and had the correct mentality to getting something from the game, Mourinho’s players were too often complacent.
“It’s not about the biggest names, it is my team. And I expect my team to play better than we did,” Mourinho said, not holding back in his post-match comments.
“It is a basic law of football, you have to play at the maximum of your potential, unless you are playing in such a weak league against such weak opponents where playing at 30% of your potential is enough. We all know that is not the case.
“I can’t explain difference of attitude because I never had a difference of attitude. For me is difficult to explain that.”
There is both an attitude problem with United’s players and an issue of underperforming stars. Of course it’s likely that the two are linked.
Too often, United regress into a pattern of allowing opponents back into games while they’re leading. It happened on a number of occasions last season, against Leicester City in the festive period, for example, and will do so again this season. Wolves was the first example of what will be many if Mourinho doesn’t sort out the mental problem at United of seeing out games.