‘I won’t dis­cuss fail­ings’ – Mour­inho

Por­tuguese coach says he has been crit­i­cised in past for views on play­ers

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Front Page - Ja­cob Stein­berg

Brighton 3 Mur­ray 25, Duffy 27, Gross 44 (pen) Manch­ester United 2 Lukaku 34, Pogba 90+5 (pen)

José Mour­inho said he could not give an hon­est as­sess­ment of his team’s per­for­mance af­ter Manch­ester United slumped to a sham­bolic 3-2 de­feat against Brighton & Hove Al­bion at the Amex Sta­dium.

United’s man­ager re­fused to share any thoughts about his play­ers, claim­ing he has been crit­i­cised by the me­dia for speak­ing too openly in the past about in­di­vid­u­als who have dis­pleased him.

Mour­inho had watched his team de­liver a per­for­mance of far­ci­cal pro­por­tion and for all that he ac­cused City of a lack of class be­fore this game, on this ev­i­dence United are a con­sid­er­able dis­tance be­hind their neigh­bours where it re­ally mat­ters.

“When I am crit­i­cal with my play­ers you just don’t ac­cept it, so please do not ask me to go in this di­rec­tion be­cause it is not good for me,” Mour­inho said.

Happy to an­a­lyse

“I will be very happy to an­a­lyse my play­ers’ per­for­mances when they were very good. When I can­not do that, don’t push me to the other side be­cause I will not go to the other side.

“If I was in your po­si­tion, I think this game to­day would give me quite a lot of ma­te­rial to write about.

“But don’t ex­pect me to speak with you about it be­cause you and your col­leagues were re­ally crit­i­cal of me when in pre­vi­ous sea­sons I was prob­a­bly too hon­est and too open in my analysing and I was too hon­est and too open in analysing about play­ers’ per­for­mances.

“So don’t ask me to do what you crit­i­cised me so much for. Ex­pect from me to be re­ally happy to say af­ter Le­ices­ter, A, B, C, D an amaz­ing per­for­mance, this and that.

“Don’t ex­pect me to go in the other di­rec­tion.”

It was the first time that Eng­land’s most fa­mous club con­ceded three goals in a first half since Oc­to­ber 2015, when Louis van Gaal was in the dugout, and they suf­fered even more than when they were beaten by Brighton here in May.

The mem­ory of their vic­tory over United last sea­son was prom­i­nent in Brighton’s thoughts. The game was played in a bois­ter­ous at­mos­phere and the pace was fre­netic, with Chris Hughton’s play­ers quick to the ball, strong in the chal­lenge and brave enough to com­mit play­ers for­ward, par­tic­u­larly when An­thony Knock­aert and Solly March found space on the flanks.

Paul Pogba ad­mit­ted United failed to match Brighton’s de­sire.

“They had more hunger than us. I put my­self first, that my at­ti­tude wasn’t right enough. We made mis­takes we shouldn’t make. We tried to push and push, we kept try­ing, but it was a bit too late. We were play­ing at home last week and that’s dif­fer­ent. Dif­fer­ent teams, dif­fer­ent tac­tics.

“I know you can­not al­ways play very, very good. The at­ti­tude al­ways has to be very good and we missed that.”

Own down­fall

United con­trib­uted to their own down­fall, mak­ing mis­takes that al­lowed Glenn Mur­ray, Shane Duffy and Pas­cal Gross from the penalty spot to give Brighton a 3-1 lead at half-time. Brighton’s man­ager, Chris Hughton, felt his side de­served their first win of the sea­son.

“I am very proud with the per­for­mance,” Hughton said. “I thought both sides of our game were re­ally good. The tempo was very good. We never al­lowed them to get into the type of game they would like.”

Be­fore this game Mour­inho ac­cused Manch­ester City of a lack of class af­ter learn­ing that a doc­u­men­tary about the Premier League cham­pi­ons fea­tured digs at his ex­pense. How­ever, Pep Guardi­ola re­fused to get drawn into a war of words af­ter his side’s 6-1 win against Hud­der­s­field Town at the Eti­had Sta­dium on Sun­day.

“That is true, you can­not buy class,” City’s man­ager said. “I agree with him, with José, you can­not buy class. I think we lived an amaz­ing sea­son last sea­son, there were cam­eras.

“We did it for our­selves. I don’t agree with José in terms of be­ing dis­re­spect­ful to them. This was not our in­ten­tion, just to film what hap­pened last sea­son.

Try­ing to grow

“But I think we are a club that is try­ing to grow, to try to win ti­tles, like all the big clubs in the world, and we did it for our­selves, for the fans, to see what hap­pened in our locker room. But from the be­gin­ning the play­ers, ev­ery­body in the club, said we are do­ing it.

“Of course the op­po­nents are there but it’s his opin­ion, it’s José’s opin­ion. An­other guy is go­ing to say ‘we like it,’ an­other guy will say no. It’s sim­ple like that. But I agree with him, class you can­not buy.”

PHO­TO­GRAPH: MIKE HEWITT/GETTY IMAGES

Ire­land de­fender Shane Duffy scores Brighton’s sec­ond goal.

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