Manchester United’s players must behave like men in the wake of their humiliating 4-0 Premier League hammering by Chelsea, manager Jose Mourinho said on Monday.
The Portuguese coach – who sat helplessly as he endured his worst defeat in the Premier League against the club who sacked him last term – wants an immediate reaction against city rivals Manchester City in Wednesday’s League Cup clash.
“We are really, really sad, but again this is not for kids, this is for men and…we have to be men and work for the next one,” the 53-year-old told the club’s TV station MUTV.
Mourinho, whose side have won just once in their past six Premier League games, said he was sanguine about United’s recent results and took succour from the fact they would drop points when they play each other.
They trail the trio of table-toppers Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool by six points.
However, their haul of 14 points after nine matches is United’s second worst in their Premier League history – the team in 2014/15 garnering just 13.
“I would prefer to play (next) in the Premier League,” said Mourinho.
“It’s a bad feeling in the Premier League. With the combination of results the gap to the top is six points.
“We have had a very difficult period of matches.
“We lost points this week and, even in the match when we played phenomenal against Stoke, we lost points then. Now we need to win matches.
“I am not saying they are easy ones, but we have Burnley, we have Swansea, West Ham, Sunderland, Middlesbrough – matches that we need to win and the top four, the top five, they have to play between themselves like we did this week against Chelsea and Liverpool.
“They are going to lose points too, so we are in the run, but there is no way to hide because I think our faces speak by themselves.”