Mourinho’s side fell behind after just 65 seconds in the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium and Wayne Rooney’s 38th goal in Europe - equalling Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record for United - was not enough to save them from a 2-1 defeat in an often bad-tempered match. To make matters worse, world record signing Paul Pogba limped off after half an hour and is doubtful for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Swansea.
Mourinho was angry that his team were caught cold by Moussa Sow’s early acrobatic overhead kick, saying: ‘At the start it was like they were playing the Champions League final and we were playing a summer friendly - that’s the reality.
‘I think they deserved to win. Football is not just about quality, it’s also about effort, commitment, playing to the limits and giving everything. A team that concedes a
goal after two minutes is a team that is not ready, not prepared, not concentrated. It’s our fault.
‘We are, in this moment, fragile. We are not scoring enough goals. In moments like this, we need to be stronger mentally and start the game better than we did.’
Mourinho was frustrated that his players did not heed his warnings to raise their game after a comfortable 4-1 win over Fenerbahce at Old Trafford a fortnight ago.
He added: ‘What disappointed me more is I have big experience of playing Turkish teams. I played here twice with Real Madrid, twice with Chelsea and with Porto, too. I passed all my experience to the players, and said “you play against them in your home and it’s easy, always 3-0 or 4-0. If you come to Turkey it’s a completely different story”. I told them to wait for that and not be focused on the easy game at Old Trafford; be ready for a completely different game. We started the game sleeping.
‘After the first goal they are where they want to be, in front. They could defend with a lot of bodies and wait for the counter-attack, simulate fouls, put pressure on the referee and provoke conflicts. But it’s our fault they were 1-0 in front.’
Defeat leaves United third in Group A behind Feyenoord and Fenerbahce and needing wins from their final two games to be sure of reaching the last 32. They next play Feyenoord at Old Trafford on November 24 and with the top two still to play each other, Mourinho believes United are still in a good position.
‘Honestly, I think we are in a better situation than Fenerbahce,’ he said. ‘They have seven points and even if they beat Zorya Luhansk at home they go to the last game (against Feyenoord). It’s impossible for Fenerbahce and Feyenoord to win the same match. We don’t need to wait for results or know what is going to happen. If we win our two matches we qualify.’
Mourinho included £26.3million summer signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan in his squad for the first time since mid-September and brought him off the bench after an hour. But he warned that the expensive Armenian still has a lot to do to win a regular senior place.
‘He has to do more, it’s as simple as that,’ said Mourinho. ‘We have big expectations at the club and lots of players for these positions. He has to play better than (Juan) Mata, (Jesse) Lingard and (Anthony) Martial. Every manager in the world wants to win matches and play the players he thinks can help the team. I’m no different.’
Original source: Furious Jose: ‘We played like it was a friendly’