Key quotes: Jose reacts to Watford 1 United 2
Jose Mourinho has praised the "spirit" and resistance shown by his Manchester United team during the 2-1 win over Watford on Saturday evening.
The United boss highlighted the contributions of Romelu Lukaku, David De Gea and Marouane Fellaini, as United held on to a first-half advantage granted by strikes from the Belgian forward and Chris Smalling, but admitted his team should have scored more and put the game to bed before Watford pulled one back through Andre Gray.
Speaking to BT Sport and in a press conference after the game, the manager identified Lukaku's sliding tackle in the second period as a moment that was emblematic of the team's ability to "resist" during a difficult period in a game where the Reds also showed plenty of verve at the other end of the pitch...
WE SHOWED GREAT SPIRIT
"I’m very happy with the points, I’m very happy with the spirit. I am very happy with something that represents for me the spirit of the team, which is Lukaku’s sliding tackle after 50 metres running back to help the team. But I feel a bit frustrated because we had everything in the first half to kill the game. I think if we played the second half in the way we played the last bit of the first we would be in this moment with a completely different result, and without the last 10 minutes. But no, in the beginning of the second half we let the game go down in intensity, we stopped to be aggressive with and without the ball. We gave them the chance to be reborn and score a goal and give us a difficult match."
OUR WORK ON SET-PIECES PAID OFF
"We trained the corner during the week, and the best thing that can happen to coaches is when you see it happen in the match. They are happening in these last three matches – even in the one against Tottenham. Things are happening that we are working [on]: the positional [play], the movement. But the set-piece is a very specific thing that you work, you work, you work sometimes weeks and weeks and you don’t see the result of that work. So when it happens it was happiness for the coaching staff."
SHAW TO START IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
"Luke Shaw plays Wednesday. We can’t do it with one left-back and Ashley Young is not just a left-back, he’s also a right-back. They both are doing well and they both are different players, and they both understand that one is a young player and the other one is the experienced one, and it’s good for us to have these two options. Plus [Matteo] Darmian is my emergency man; he is always ready for everything."
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DE GEA WAS THERE WHEN WE NEEDED HIM
"Only one save, but a fantastic save. We know what is a good keeper from a big team. In some matches, you don’t touch the ball; in some matches, you are just somebody that is watching the game. But in the right moment, you have to be there. And today his moment was that save in the last minute, so good for him and for us."
FELLAINI GIVES US SIMPLICITY
"We made defensive mistakes against Brighton and against Tottenham. Against Brighton we didn’t deserve to win that match, but against Tottenham I think we did deserve to win it. Six goals and defensive mistakes. Then we go to two matches away – difficult matches, difficult stadiums, Burnley and Watford – and I felt that my central defenders need, especially in the moment of a bit of instability, they need somebody to support them, to give them the first wall – physicality – but Marouane is giving us more than that. He’s giving us that, but he’s giving also quality and simplicity in his football. He’s playing simple and well. So I’m really happy for Marouane."
"[Chris] was good. The only thing I don’t like in Chris is the haircut, but I am nobody to tell him that! But also Victor [Lindelof] and, I repeat, Marouane. It was very difficult for them in two difficult matches. Matches of two and against two, because Burnley and Watford [play] two strikers, and they are two strikers that can hold the ball, they can make runs, they are good in the air, they are physical, they are clever – so I think these three guys they were very important for us today. And when a central defender can score a goal, I think even better."
WE SHOULD HAVE KILLED THE GAME
"In that last half an hour, maybe ambition went a little bit down. We gave them the chance to be a little bit more aggressive and then when they scored the goal, of course I knew we were going to always have the chances to score the third goal. That's why I play [Anthony] Martial with more space to counter-attack and find an imbalanced team, with Javi [Gracia] being a little bit more offensive and pushing up with two new full-backs, Kiko [Femenia] and the other boy [Masina]. I thought we could always score the third goal and kill it but we had lots of these half chances to kill the game. We didn't and the game was open until the end."