Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has heaped praise on his players after their last game of this summer’s pre-season tour of the United States. An experimental United side beat Real Madrid 2-1 in Miami on Tuesday night, with goals from Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera, with their manager particularly happy with their efforts over the last few weeks.
“My professional players were amazing all pre-season because they know we play against good teams, against good opponents,” said Mourinho after the game to MUTV. “We have just a few [senior] players here, lots of kids. Our kids are really, really young because the team of the older ones, the Under-23s, was relegated – the team went to the second division and were relegated, so the quality was not good. So we prefer to bring kids – on the pitch today we had a couple of kids who were 16 years old.
People like Herrera, Bailly, Darmian, Mata, all these guys, were phenomenal during the whole pre-season, playing almost every minute of every game. So the game today – if [we] win 2-1, we lose 2-1 or draw 2-2, it doesn’t change anything but of course I know the players and I know I can count on them. I know that these guys are amazing professionals and I know that they give everything for the club, for the prestige of the club. I know it would have not been nice to come here today and lose 5-1 or 6-1 against Real Madrid. They were phenomenal and Karen [Shotbolt, press officer] knows that they were also phenomenal outside of the pitch with lots of commercial commitments, lots of meets and greets, lots of work with foundations. The guys were absolutely phenomenal.”
Mourinho’s comments are a far cry from the doom and gloom that preceded Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Liverpool, presumably because the result and performance were both far better, and several of his World Cup stars are due to return to training over the next week. With United’s Premier League opener against Leicester City nine days away, perhaps things are starting to look a little brighter for the manager.