Jose Mourinho reveals who is to blame for Manchester United’s draw with Southampton

Jose Mourinho reveals who is to blame for Manchester United’s draw with Southampton

- in Football
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Mourinho took aim at his midfield (Picture: Getty Images)

Jose Mourinho was frustrated by his midfielders inability to keep thing simple during Manchester United’s 2-2 draw with Southampton and laid the blame at their feet.

The Portuguese was forced to start Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay at centre-back along with Phil Jones after being hit by a wave of defensive injuries, but thought the pair performed admirably in the circumstances.

However, he was disappointed that his midfielders, including Paul Pogba, failed to get the ball to attacking duo Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku quick enough in the second half, having recovered from 2-0 down – following goals from Stuart Armstrong and Cedric Soares – to enter half-time level.

Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera recovered a point, but Mourinho was disappointed his side didn’t kick on in the second period.

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‘I think because we lost so many balls in midfield,’ he told BT Sport. ‘We lost so many balls in our transition to the last third, that it was difficult to have that continuity. I think it’s the only reason [why we didn’t win].

Mourinho’s midfield let him down (Picture: Getty)

‘What we did so well in the last 15 or 20 minutes of the first half was connect with the attacking players by transporting the ball, delivering the ball on the right moment, the right choice of pass, playing simple, accelerating the game.

‘In the second half we went back to that dynamic where we lose too many balls in midfield. And when the players don’t understand that simplicity is genius, especially in some parts of the pitch, and they keep and keep and keep going to complicated football, it’s difficult to have that continuity.’

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Mourinho complained that United lacked ‘bite’ in midfield for the first goal – and moaned it’s a characteristic missing in his squad.

He added: ‘The second goal was a direct free-kick, the first goal was because we don’t press the ball enough when our block is low which is something that we do wrong, doesn’t matter the system we play, it has to do with the characteristics of the players and we don’t have many, with all the respect I hope people know what I mean, we don’t have many mad dogs.

Mourinho complained at a lack of ‘bite’ (Picture: AFP/Getty)

‘The ones that bite the ball all the time and press all the time. We don’t have many with that spirit. So nothing to do with the system. I think Scott and Matic did a very positive job for two midfield players and Phil Jones leads that group of three in a way we were totally in control. The only problem we had was that the two attacking players did not have enough continuity because in midfield we lost too many balls.

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When asked if he needed more aggression in his team, he added: ‘No.

‘Choices, choices when they have the ball. Biting I would say in relation to the first goal, when the block is low.

‘But what we needed to improve in this game is simplicity in midfield. Play one touch, play two touches. Make it simple, make the ball arrive fast to the two attacking players. By losing so many balls in midfield we broke that dynamic that normally leads to goals.’

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