- Published: Monday, 19 December 2016 08:33
Jose Mourinho was delighted with his players as Manchester United secured a fourth straight win in all competitions by beating West Bromwich Albion 2-0.
Top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck twice at the Hawthorns to give the boss and United fans plenty to cheer in the club’s final game before Christmas.
Here are the main points of discussion from the manager’s post-match interview with MUTV…
Pleased with ‘phenomenal’ performance
“I think we played even better than against Crystal Palace because against Crystal Palace we had a little period in the second half where we lost the control. Today, no. Today we were in control for 90 minutes which is very, very difficult. The players were phenomenal. Organisation great but physically and mentally very strong so I'm really pleased with the players and the result and with the fact that the fans can have a Christmas with hopes that after Christmas we can get in better positions.”
In complete command
“I know Tony [Pulis] well, Tony teams well, and when you lose control you’re in trouble. In any moment they can get free off a free-kick or corner and they score a goal and then the game is a completely different game. They are so powerful physically so it was very important to keep the ball, to keep control, to play in their half, to play them away or far from our box and we did that for 90 minutes.”
“[He is] a different player than Juan [Mata]. Both very good players obviously but different players. Against Palace we thought it was more important to have Juan’s quality to hold the ball up to keep playing inside positions. Today we thought it was important to have one of the three attacking players to be more of a runner and we did that with Jesse and later with Marcus.”
Preparation pays off
“We work hard, in spite of not having much time between matches. Yesterday we spent quite a long time on the training ground training the defence in set-pieces, changing information in the players, changing full-backs, analysing situations. We did good homework and also my analyst people that are hidden, no-one knows who they are but the guys do fantastic work for me.”
Rest before Boxing Day
“We have two days off now – they [the players] deserve that. Some information is coming out saying I’m the bad guy but I’m not so bad as the wrong information is. I gave them two days off because they deserve.”
Fans reaction on Fellaini
“The fans are fantastic. They had just an impulsive reaction because of Marouane’s naïve reaction against Everton but they know that Marouane is a guy that gives absolutely everything – inside the dressing room people love the guy and it’s important for him to get that good feeling of knowing the fans are behind [him].”
Mourinho spoke in his press conference after the game and revealed that he told the players to give their jerseys to travelling fans at the end of the match.
"The fans were terrific again as always and we wanted to give them a Christmas gift for travelling here to support us," he told reporters.
"For the players it is just one more shirt that they will give to the kit man or swap with another player but for the fans to get one of these shirts means a lot more.
"It is a pity that not all of the fans can get one but for the ones who did get one I feel it is a very good thing for them."