News ID: 213728
Published: 0114 GMT April 22, 2018

Mourinho says United players must ‘educate themselves’

Mourinho says United players must ‘educate themselves’
Manchester United’s José Mourinho guides his players on the touchline during the FA Cup semifinal 2-1 victory over Tottenham at Wembley Stadium on April 21, 2018.

José Mourinho praised the quality and desire his players showed in coming from behind to beat Tottenham in the FA Cup semifinal but challenged them to reproduce it with greater consistency, after a Manchester United side that lost at home to West Bromwich Albion last Sunday deservedly prevailed over a much stronger opponent at Wembley.

“I think the players need to educate themselves,” Mourinho said, The Guardian reported.

“Of course with a little bit of my help, but they have to educate themselves to face every game with the same mentality. If in the cups you can say: ‘It’s a big game, I’m here,’ in the championship every game means three points and we lost some points that we shouldn’t.”

United started poorly and fell behind in the 11th minute, only for goals from Alexis Sánchez and Ander Herrera to turn the game in its favor.

“I can imagine myself now after losing that match, I would be less upset than I was against West Bromwich, even though it’s an FA Cup semifinal,” Mourinho said.

“Because the attitude was good, the players were good, they were focused, ready, they helped each other, they were confident to play. I was really happy and pleased.

“Both teams tried to start very strong, very aggressive. They were better than us, they scored and there was a period when we lost a little bit of control in midfield. Then a good reaction, good football, a good goal. In the second half we were very calm and very much in control even when Spurs had the ball. In the second half we were with the feeling that it was going to be very difficult to lose the game and most probably we would win.”

For Mauricio Pochettino this will be another season without the major trophy that would give the record books with evidence of the improvement he has wrought at Tottenham.

For the second successive season Spurs took the lead in an FA Cup semifinal only to end it defeated.

“It’s not about learning, because if it was we just have to go to university and study,” Pochettino said.

“We have arrived at the semifinal and are competitive in the Champions League and Premier League. Everyone feels that we are close. The only way is to reach the last level, the level that allows you not only to compete but to win. We are building a very good team but still at the moment it’s not enough. It was an even game, I think a little bit more for us. We were close, but not enough to win.”

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