Jose Mourinho was understandably disappointed in his side’s performance after this afternoon’s 2-0 loss at St James’ Park, with two well-taken second-half goals ending a run of six straight wins and condemning us to our second league reverse this season.
The Portuguese had no qualms with the defeat, explaining that his side had not been aggressive enough in the opening half when given the opportunity to attack a defensive-minded Newcastle side…
‘We deserved to lose. Maybe they didn’t deserve to win but for sure we deserved to lose,’ said Mourinho.
‘The first half was very easy to play. We had lots of space, no real pressure from the opponent, but we were just waiting for the opponent to lose the ball. When they did we were not aggressive enough with it and we lost the ball after recovering it.
‘We were too soft with and without the ball, but especially with it because we had it for a long time. We gave them 45 minutes of a friendly and it was only when they scored the goal we had a reaction. I think it was a really bad performance by us.’
Mourinho had spoken ahead of the game of the difficulty he would face in choosing a starting 11 following impressive recent performances from his whole squad. Asked if he was happy with his selection today, the manager responded:
‘I made 11 mistakes. I should pick the other 11 and not this one, and it’s the feeling I have when my team plays so bad. Of course I’m exaggerating because I had some players in good form but the feeling is that I made 11 wrong choices.’
On the anticipated response to the setback, ahead of a crucial game in the Champions League on Wednesday…
‘I don’t know what reaction to expect. First of all I have to understand why we had this performance. The reaction is something that comes after this match.
‘I am worried. I saw the previous years and the same thing happened. The team was successful in cup competitions and they were not successful in the Premier League. They finished 15 points, 20 points behind the league leaders.
‘This season we have played five matches away in the league – I know difficult places, difficult matches – but we have one victory and we have two defeats. It does concern me.’
On today’s opponents, and the significance of a disappointing result at the start of November…
‘I never won here, and I had teams that were champions. It’s difficult here, there is a fantastic crowd who are always behind the team, but you have to come here with a certain kind of mentality if you want to win matches, and today we didn’t come with that mentality.
‘What’s the difference between November 2 and October 31? If this game is October 31 and this happens it makes no difference. There is no point about this.’