Jose Mourinho rued what was a missed opportunity for his Manchester United side to close the gap on the top four after a goalless draw against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
It was a frustrating day for the Reds as chances for Chris Smalling and Anthony Martial went wide of the target, while Romelu Lukaku had efforts saved by Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey and saw a goal ruled out for offside.
Speaking to MUTV after the game, the manager praised how the team started, but criticised the way the Reds allowed the visitors to have a sniff of an opportunity of earning something from the fixture.
WE'VE LOST TWO POINTS TODAY
“I would say [it's] a very bad result. It's not a point, it's two points that we lost. The objective was, in these eight matches until the end of December to recover positions, to get points, to shorten distances, to get close to the top four and, in the end, we lose two points.”
WE LACKED INTENSITY
“We let them time to breathe because we were not intense. We played well, but we lost the ball, we gave them time to breathe and [allowed] the goalkeeper to take his time. We let it go and then it looks like we are waiting for things to happen and things did not happen.”
LINE-UP WAS ATTACKING
“You cannot play with nine attacking players, we have to play with a certain balance but, of course, we played with four players in attack and we were dynamic to arrive in dangerous positions. We started really well but, again, I think when you play to win matches, you don't stop until you win and we were playing well but we gave them periods of time, periods during the first and the second half. We gave them periods to rest, to breathe, to feel that they were a little bit under control and that gives life to the opponents that come here to fight for a point.”
INSTILLING BELIEF INTO THE PLAYERS
You can influence players, especially when they are open to it. When a player is open to it and a player realises he must give more and has to change his nature a little bit and is open, they change. There are many examples showing that coaches and managers can change a little bit in their players, not their DNA but their emotional qualities. I am what I am, every individual is different. There are people who will have a bad dinner, there are people who enjoy a nice dinner and there will be people that may party. I think that is the way it is.
WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?”You cannot change players' natures dramatically. The solution is that I probably have to make certain choices based on heart and then I’ll probably blame myself because I’ll think heart is not enough and I’m missing some quality. We have a game in two days which is a good thing, there’s not a long time to be moaning because tomorrow is training.
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