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28th January 2023

Manchester United: Mourinho insists Valencia were more defensive

Etihad: Jose Mourinho blames player's 'mistakes' on defeat
Etihad: Jose Mourinho blames player's 'mistakes' on defeat(via-IG/manchesterunited)

Manchester United José Mourinho has reacted to the poor result at Old Trafford, where his Manchester United team played out a goalless draw against Valencia, as he insists the La Liga team were more defensive in the game.

José Mourinho who spoke to the Manchester United website after the game, said Valencia were more defensive and technically sound than his team, which he said do not have the players to play and build from the back.

On the results:

“It was a frustrating night and not the result we want. There were some improvements in our performance because if we don’t perform at least at an acceptable level, we would lose and a defeat would leave us in a difficult situation. So, in such a difficult group like we have, if you cannot win, you don’t lose. I think we were the team that tried more and had probably a couple of the biggest chances to win it but I accept the result as a fair result.”

José Mourinho also touched on his team’s hunger, saying:

“They tried, the players tried and they raised the level of their effort. We raised our level and intensity and we tried to play in some crucial positions building up but we don’t have the technical quality to build from the back. We did something well – we tried to stop a very dangerous and very fast team on the counter-attack and we tried to create chances to win the game.

We knew we were not going to create 20 chances because we know our attacking players are not also in the best moment of confidence and individual performance level. So we thought with three or four chances, we would score and win the game. Which we didn’t but, as I was saying, it’s not a bad result.”

On how difficult the group is, he said:

“It’s not a good result but not a bad result. Normally, Valencia will be with seven points after the fourth fixture. I believe they are going to get six points against Young Boys. So they will have seven and we have two matches with Juventus to make points and, the last match, we will probably go there [the Mestalla] to decide but it’s a very difficult group.”

Next four games to come and how he play:

“We have Newcastle before the league stops [for the international break] and, after that, Chelsea and Juventus in three days. It’ll be very good for the team if we can beat Newcastle.”

Valencia style of play:

“Valencia defended really well and they changed one attacking player for another defensive player with Coquelin playing and not Soler surprised us a lot, because they play all the time with their 4-4-2, but they were more defensive, they were solid.

They have a super experienced central defender like Garay that was very dominant in the fight with our striker and then they were solid and they kept the clean sheet.”

Why the game was delayed:

“We left the hotel at 6pm, hoping that 30 minutes would be enough and it normally is. But, this time, the police refused to do an escort so we came by ourselves. It took, from the Lowry Hotel, 75 minutes. UEFA were nice and the referee was nice to allow us to start the game five minutes later because we needed time to be prepared. It was a not a problem with the club’s organisation.

We tried everything. We anticipated it could have been dangerous, in the sense of arriving late, but we were informed that the police refused a police escort.”

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