Jose Mourinho was far from a happy man after Manchester United suffered a 3-1 defeat at Watford – and admitted he needed to work on his team’s shape and to their improve their individual performances.
The in-form Etienne Capoue struck his fourth goal in six games to put the hosts ahead at Vicarage Road and although Marcus Rashford levelled on 62 minutes with United’s first shot on target, Camilo Zuniga came off the bench and scored almost immediately before a late Troy Deeney penalty secured a memorable 3-1 win for the Hornets – their first victory over United since 1986.
After the match, Mourinho admitted to BT Sports that he was alarmed by their form this week after they had lost three times in eight days.
“I’m always concerned when we don’t get the result we want so that’s an obvious situation,” he said.
When asked directly about the defeat, Mourinho added: “I reflect on three factors from the match, but only one of them I can improve.
“The first factor depends on ourselves, it relates to our individual mistakes and collective mistakes as individual players and as a team. We have to improve something, it is in our hands.
“The second factor is the referee and I can’t control their mistakes. The story of the game is the result and not the ridiculous situation of the first goal.
“The third factor is luck, we didn’t have it. We were the best team when we lost. Heurelho Gomes made a phenomenal save from a Zlatan Ibrahimovic header.”
He was then asked about United’s performance, in particular his midfielders, in which we criticised the performances of both Wayne Rooney and Paul Pogba.
“Not really (happy with tempo). In the first half for about 25, 30 minutes we didn’t play well and that’s something that we can control. We can work and improve on it, the referee and linesman mistake is not under my control. I can’t do nothing to improve it.
“In the second half we were much better, we get the draw (level), [Heurelho] Gomes makes a phenomenal save and the lucky moment is something we cannot control. That second goal is an individual mistake because we know we have to press the wing-backs outside the box and not let them take the advantage of being one against one inside the box.
“Our individual and collective performances is where we have to improve.”
Mourinho praises Ashley Young
The introduction of Ashley Young as a first-half substitute drew praise from the United manager and he concluded: “We started the season very well and had good results. I feel the first moment we had a defeat, a difficult situation, some of the boys are having a bit of difficulty coping with the negativity.
“You see Ashley Young, his mentality the happiness and confidence he brought to the game is something more players need to have.”