Jose Mourinho is sure the poor display at Huddersfield was an “isolated case”, with the Manchester United manager claiming to have been impressed rather than angered by Ander Herrera’s post-match honesty.
United left West Yorkshire with a bloody nose after poor defending and a meek approach was exposed by David Wagner’s impressive side.
Mourinho was incensed by the performance as United’s unbeaten domestic run came to an end, with his anger going up several notches after Herrera (the bit-part player of the year) conceded the promoted hosts played with “more passion” in the 2-1 win.
Despite beating Swansea in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, the fallout has rumbled on this week – talk dismissed by the United boss, who claims to have been impressed by Herrera’s post-match interviews.
The Independent claimed earlier this week that Herrera and Antony Martial were targeted by Mourinho after the match.
“I was surprised but happy about his words because it is not easy for the players to recognise and to admit,” Mourinho said.
“So I was happy because, again, it shows dignity, shows character and shows the intelligence to know the reason why we lost the match.
“So, contrary to some imaginary sources that tell you everything we do here, I can promise you that since that match I didn’t speak one single second about that match because there is no need.
“After all the words and the feeling of all the players, I don’t need to speak about the words, so please do not pay the sources.”
Asked if Huddersfield was an aberration, he said: “You know, to play bad and lose matches I think that can happen again.
“It happens during a season. You cannot play well all the time, you cannot win all the time, you cannot even be lucky all the time, so to lose again I think it is going to happen.
“But in terms of the attitude that we didn’t like and knowing the players and knowing how good people they are, yes, I believe that was an isolated case.”
United have the chance to show their true capabilities when high-flying Tottenham arrive at Old Trafford on Saturday.