Belfast Telegraph

Jose Mourinho curses his luck and admits Everton's direct style was big worry

By Simon Hughes

Perhaps it is a reflection of the times when an explosive press conference involving Jose Mourinho can no longer be described as extraordinary.

Having refused to answer questions about Marouane Fellaini's role in conceding the penalty which allowed Everton to draw with Manchester United; having insisted, indeed, he did not see Marcos Rojo's horrendous foul on Idrissa Gueye, which should have earned him a red card; and having reacted somewhere north of tetchily to all questions about his team's inability to win games, he reacted to a query about his tax affairs by inviting a journalist down the corridor and into one of Goodison Park's back rooms.

Mourinho had previously given more detail when justifying United's league position, some 13 points behind leaders Chelsea, arguing it is largely down to an inability to finish teams off.

They had led for almost half of the game thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's opener just before the break. Leighton Baines' late equaliser from the spot means United have now won just once in eight league fixtures.

"Another game with a very good performance in a very difficult place to play, a very emotional stadium against a team with very good players," was Mourinho's analysis.

"We are playing very well at home, we are super dominant there. But we are not getting the results we deserve..."

He was asked to explain why United are not putting opponents to sleep.

"When my team are playing pragmatic football and winning matches and winning titles, you say it is not right and nice," came his response. "When my teams play very, very well, there is a huge change: now you say what matters no matter what is to get a result."

Invited to justify his decision to send for Fellaini late in the game, he said: "I thought you would know more about football than you do, the answer is obvious.

"Everton is not a passing team any more like they were in the past. Everton is a team that plays direct: goalkeeper direct, Ashley Williams direct, Funes Mori direct. Everything direct.

"When you have on the bench a player with two metres (in height) you play the player in front of the defensive line to help the team to win the match."

He reasserted that he believes the impression of his time so far at Old Trafford would be different had United converted more of their chances. Ander Herrera hit the post against Everton at a crucial stage in the game. "2-0... and then goodbye," Mourinho concluded.

Toffees boss Ronald Koeman, meanwhile, was right that Everton's performance was an improvement on the one at Southampton. Like Mourinho, though, the description of his team's level was too high.

"I am pleased with the fighting spirit," he said. "Last week, that was not there so much."

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