Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United have been found wanting for motivation in a difficult start to the season but his expectations of a big response in the game against West Ham came shattering as the reds were at the receiving end of a thumping 3-1 defeat.
Goals from Felipe Anderson, Victor Lindelof and Marko Arnautovic saw the West Ham hammer Manchester United, as Marcus Rashford pulled one back for the reds at the London stadium on Saturday.
In the post-match interview, Jose Mourinho answered on why Man United lost to West Ham: “One goal is offside, the second goal is own goal and the third goal is referee’s mistake.”
Manchester United now sits on the tenth position in the Premier League table and to make matters worse, their highest paid player, Alexis Sanches was not even selected in he squad after a string of disappointing performances.
“I left Alexis Sanchez out and I think Anthony Martial is a player who is not evry good at his defensive duties”, said Mourinho in the post match interview.
This loss was followed by an elimination from the League Cup on penalties at home by Championship side Derby County after a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
“I sometimes feel frustrated because with the work we do, I’m always expecting more,” said Mourinho on Friday.
“It looks that when we feel we are really improving and playing better and having a good run of results there is always a little going down in terms of the focus or the motivation. I feel that.”
Mourinho has also had the distraction of a clash with midfielder Paul Pogba having stripped the Frenchman of his role as vice-captain on Tuesday, and seen video footage of a standoff between the pair at training on Wednesday go viral.
The Portuguese insisted that Pogba will return to his starting line-up at the London Stadium having impressed with his attitude in training this week.
And unlike in recent times when Mourinho has been criticised for his negative outlook, he backed his side to beat a West Ham side on the up having won at Everton and held Chelsea in their last two league outings.
“I expect to win tomorrow. I expect to play very well tomorrow. We worked very, very well – especially on Wednesday and Thursday, so tomorrow I expect a very good performance and I expect to win a very difficult match,” said Mourinho
“I don’t come here and say the training session was not very good, that the players are not committed and that I have a bad feeling.”
Mourinho’s problems with Pogba are just the latest in a series of fall-outs he has had with members of the United squad in just over two seasons in charge.
Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial have previously been in the firing line, but he refuted suggestions his players are struggling to deal with the demands of representing the 20-time English champions.
“I don’t think any player is afraid to play for the club,” added Mourinho.
“If I put myself in the position of a journalist, maybe people think that sometimes the boys are not committed, maybe people can think the manager doesn’t demand enough from them, maybe people think on the training ground we don’t train enough this area or that area. That’s quite frustrating.
“But I repeat that tomorrow I think we are going to play very well, I think we are going to win a very difficult match against a very good opponent, an opponent with great investment, an opponent with a champion manager (Manuel Pellegrini) with lots of experienced players and lots of very talented players.
(with inputs from PTI)