Jose Mourinho hailed the loyalty of the Manchester United fans after his side's 1-0 EFL Cup victory at Old Trafford over Manchester City turned the heat up on opposite number Pep Guardiola.
The vital win, secured by Juan Mata's second half strike, came after a difficult few days for Mourinho. On Sunday he was humiliated when his old club Chelsea beat United 4-0 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League and he entered last night's game with reports that he was he felt his hotel life in Manchester was "a bit of a disaster". And this after an indifferent start to the season.
Even early in his United reign there was a sense Mourinho needed a win to ease the pressure. While Guardiola, now without a win in his last six games, played a second string outfit, Mourinho selected his strongest side, admitting he had changed his plans after the Chelsea defeat.
While happy with the win, it was the support from the stands that pleased him most.
Mourinho, whose team will host West Ham in the quarter-finals of the League Cup, said: "When I'm in a club my heart belongs to the fans and I felt deeply for them. The reality is that I never had people (fans) like these ones. We lost 4-0 and they were supportive.
"The stadium was full of real support and it looks like the love people have for the club is bigger than bad results, bigger than three bad seasons."
Guardiola said he not no regrets about his selection, adding that he was 'proud' of his young team. When quizzed about his side's poor run of results he insisted he would not change his methods.