Jose Mourinho paid tribute to the commitment and desire of his Manchester United team as the Reds came from two goals down to seize victory against Newcastle United at Old Trafford.
Speaking to BT Sport and during his press conference after the match, the manager spoke about a number of issues, including the atmosphere of the squad in the dressing room at half-time, his experience as a manager and the support of the fans after an extraordinary evening under the lights.
THE PLAYERS GAVE THEIR ALL
“It's the mentality. It's the desire, it's the commitment. As I used to say: nobody is important, only the club is important. This is not about me, this is not about the players, this is about the club and, in the second half, the players they gave absolutely everything. Nothing more to give.”
HALF-TIME TEAM TALK
“I think, at half-time, we had a good conversation. We didn't promise to each other that we are going to win the match, because we couldn't promise that. We promised each other that we were going to give absolutely everything without any fear, without any pressure, just the pressure of giving everything and, of course, they gave everything and I don't want to say that we were lucky, because we fought so much for that. I think the boys they deserve [it], but even if the game ends with the 2-2, even if we don't score the last goal, the feeling would be a positive feeling, because as I was saying, nobody can promise to win matches, but a professional should promise to give everything and the boys they gave this.”
PLAYING FOR THE CLUB
“If the players play just for the manager, they are not good professionals because, one day, they like the manager and they play for them, and the next day comes a manager they don't like and they don't play for him, but they still get the money. So I think it's ridiculous talk. What I ask the players was exactly to give absolutely everything. Of course we had some little tactical touches, of course we risked a lot, of course we went in different directions. We were trying to find the best way to play and, in the end, we won the match that I think we deserved to win. I think we deserved to win, I think the fans deserved to win. This is what a football club is and Manchester United is a big football club.”
LIFE IS MADE OF EXPERIENCES
“I think clearly some of the boys in spite of that, the man that is hunte,d I think they are not coping well with it and the way they started the game was absolutely panicking. Every ball that was in our box, I thought in some moments I thought we could score in our own goal and it's not easy for them. For me, it's not easy too, but I think life is made of experiences. Some are new and some are deja vu, but this is new, but makes me, I think, not just a better manager but makes me even a better person, because I understand things in the human nature nowadays and in the industry where I work. I used to love it and I still love it, but it's different. A lot of wickedness, too much wickedness in something that should be beautiful. As I was saying, I cope with it with some sadness obviously, but I cope with it and I survive. I am mature, I am a big boy.”
“Paul Pogba didn’t play centre-back. He was playing with [Nemanja] Matic in front of [Chris] Smalling because we need some technical quality to bring the ball from the back. And the way to have some technical quality to bring the ball out from the back was to play Pogba and Matic there.”
'The players gave absolutely everything' Video
THE BLAME GAME
“A friend of mine was saying to me this morning if, tomorrow, it rains in London, it's my fault. I go to London tonight, if it rains tomorrow in London, it's my fault. If there is some difficulty to have the agreement of the Brexit, it's my fault. I have to be ready for all of this. I think [there's] a lot of wickedness and a clear man-hunting that I think in football is too much, but as I was saying, it's my life, it's a life I love. Since I was a kid, I worked for this and I will love it until my last day so it was one more experience in my life.”