Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has accused his players of ‘starting games slowly’ ahead of their must-win champions league match with Young Boys at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
United played out a goalless draw against Crystal Palace at home on Saturday. That result leaves United 14 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and means they have won only three of their nine home matches in all competitions this season. But Mourinho insists his players’ attitude rather than his own tactics is to blame.
“It’s frustrating because what I want is the team to start strong, is the team to go strong on the opponent, not to be waiting, not to be reactive but proactive,” Mourinho complained, having also said his side are “not very good on second balls”.
“That’s exactly what I want and probably you or the fans, they think ‘oh, Jose told them to start slow’, ‘Jose told them to play nice and easy and wait to see what happens’ or ‘to be losing for then to react.”
“It is exactly the opposite thing. I want the team to start strong, I want the team to have a go immediately and it is a bit frustrating.”
His United side is also the only team yet to score at home in this season’s Champions League but will qualify for the knockout stages if they beat visitors Young Boys on Tuesday and Valencia failed to beat Juventus in Turin. When asked if the pressures of playing at home was getting at his players, Mourinho said
“If you feel pressure, stay at home – and when I say home, I don’t say stadium home, I say ‘home-home’ and watch on TV,” Mourinho said.
“If you feel pressure to play matches at home where the people come to support… come on.
“I never felt pressure to play at home.”