28 Nov Mourinho’s passion
Phil Jones views Jose Mourinho’s latest outburst as a show of passion rather than an indicator of general frustration at Manchester United.
United manager Mourinho was sent off for a second time this season as his side were held to a 1-1 Premier League draw by West Ham at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The Portuguese kicked a water bottle in anger after midfielder Paul Pogba was booked for diving.
The result left United with their lowest points return from 13 league games – 20 – since the 1989-90 term. It was also United’s fourth straight home league draw, but defender Jones insists the frustration is not getting to the manager.
“No, I think that’s just passion,” the 24-year-old said. “I like to see that from anyone – players, staff – it’s passion for the game and a willingness to win.
“We all want to win just as much as each other. We just need to stick together, keep training well, keep creating chances and we will get the goals.”
Mourinho’s behaviour has been under scrutiny during United’s difficult start to the campaign. He was handed a touchline ban after disputing a decision against Burnley last month and has also been fined for other comments about a referee. Additionally, he was involved in an odd exchange with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte in October.
His latest controversy will be reviewed after the Football Association receives referee Jon Moss’ report, and further disciplinary action could follow.
The incident midway through the first half actually occurred during a good spell for United. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 21st-minute header had cancelled out Diafra Sakho’s second-minute opener and the hosts were threatening to take charge.
That United did not win was due largely to the brilliance of West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph, who produced superb saves from Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan and twice blocked from Ibrahimovic.
Jones said: “We created the chances but we have been unlucky in front of goal. We probably could have killed the game off before half-time. We created some good chances but unfortunately they didn’t go in again.
“We thought we should have won the game. We felt we controlled the game for most of the 90 minutes but we couldn’t get that final goal.
“We just need to keep creating the chances and eventually we are going to hit someone like we did against Feyenoord (4-0 in the Europa League) the other night.”
West Ham almost snatched a late winner as David de Gea saved from former United player Ashley Fletcher, but there was no doubting who the real star of the show was.
Randolph, who was given a chance in place of Adrian the previous week, admitted the game was one of the best of his career and he now seems likely to get an extended run in the side.
The 29-year-old Republic of Ireland international told the club’s website, www.whufc.com: “It’s certainly up there, although I’d have liked to be less busy.
“I’m just happy to have made the saves that count for something and that we’ve got a point out the game.
“We’re very happy. It was tough and like the Alamo at times, but that’s what it takes when you come to these places.”
The sides meet again in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup at the same venue on Wednesday.