Jose’s brutally condescending analysis of own players
MANCHESTER United manager Jose Mourinho has lamented his team's lack of physicality and their problems with injuries after their 3-1 Premier League loss at Liverpool.
The league-leading Reds are now 19 points ahead of United after just 17 matches but the 11-point gap to the Champions League spots is arguably even more concerning for Mourinho, who shouldered the responsibility for their latest defeat.
"I am really, really happy with the players that I had on the pitch, with their attitude, with their effort. I am more than happy," the Portuguese, who left Paul Pogba on the bench at Anfield, said.
"And because I am more than happy, I assume the responsibilities of the defeat and I want them to be hidden behind me.
"They gave absolutely everything. Honest people, they gave absolutely everything."
Liverpool's speed and aggression allowed them to dominate United in the opening period of the game and Mourinho said much of that superiority came from the physical qualities of Jurgen Klopp's players.
"There are qualities that a player has or doesn't have. You cannot improve, you cannot make them have," he said.
"I give you an example: (Andy) Robertson, (Sadio) Mane, (Mohamed) Salah, (Georginio) Wijnaldum, (Naby) Keita, Fabinho, they are physical players, on top of that they are good players technically.
"I also have lots of good players, technically, but we do not have many players with that intensity or physicality.
"So when the game has high levels of intensity is difficult for us. Our first 20 minutes was difficult for us."
Mourinho said the club's difficulties with injuries had been a long-term issue.
"First of all, we have lots of problems related to physicality, we have lots of players that I could consider injury prone, because some of our players are always injured and is not with me, was before me," he said.
United were forced to draft centre-half Eric Bailly into the starting line-up moments before the game after Chris Smalling suffered an injury during the warm- up.
"Eric Bailly knows he plays one minute before the game," Mourinho said.
"(Victor) Lindelof trained one day to play, (Diogo) Dalot trained one day to play.
"(Matteo) Darmian trained one day to play, Ashley Young played with a sore ankle and I could go on, and on, and on."