Poor attitude stuns Mourinho

United need to rebound from Huddersfield shock before facing Spurs and Chelsea in EPL

LONDON • Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his players' attitude in Saturday's loss to Huddersfield Town in the English Premier League was the worst he has seen since taking over at the club.

United fell to a 2-1 defeat by the promoted Yorkshire side, their first defeat of the campaign which left them trailing rivals and leaders Manchester City by five points.

It was also the first time United fell at Huddersfield since 1952.

"I don't even remember a friendly match where our attitude was so poor. In the second half, they tried. They played against an opponent defending and the wind was tremendous. We could have a second goal and a draw but it would have been an undeserved draw," the Portuguese said.

"And if I was a Manchester United supporter, not a manager, I would be really disappointed.

"I think you can play and lose because the opponent had more quality but not because the opponent had more attitude. So I am really disappointed."

Asked why United had shown such a poor attitude, Mourinho was non-plussed.

"It was a surprise but it is reality," he said. "I heard Ander Herrera in his flash interview saying the attitude and desire was poor.

"Oh my god, when a player says that, or a player feels that, I think they should all go to the press conference and explain why - because I cannot explain that. It concerns me because if it happened today, why can't it happen tomorrow?"

A dismal afternoon for United was compounded by the first-half injury that forced off Phil Jones shortly before Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre scored within five minutes of one another to give Huddersfield a 2-0 lead.

Victor Lindelof, Jones' replacement, had a torrid game, badly at fault for the second goal, but Mourinho's anger was directed towards the entire team on a day when Juan Mata and Anthony Martial were both substituted at half-time.

Marcus Rashford's 78th-minute goal set up a tense finish but Huddersfield's manager, David Wagner, agreed with Mourinho that it was a deserved victory, describing it as "one of the top three moments I have had, personally, as manager of this club".

Wagner said: "This is a very proud moment. We all know how huge it is that we have beaten Man United. We have to make it totally clear so everyone understands what is extraordinary and what is ordinary. Today was extraordinary."

United visit Swansea in the League Cup on Wednesday before hosting Tottenham Hotspur and visiting Chelsea in the league.

Having seen their 12-game unbeaten run come to an end, Mourinho added that he did not know how his team would react.

"I don't like to anticipate the reactions because I don't know how to say in this moment," he said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2017, with the headline 'Poor attitude stuns Mourinho'. Print Edition | Subscribe