“Do you think I want to talk about that now?” That was the response from Jose Mourinho as the frustrated Manchester United manager responded to a question about Paul Pogba becoming the club’s long-term captain.
Christmas is around the corner but Mourinho was not in a festive mood following United’s 2-2 draw at 10-man Leicester City after the Red Devils conceded a 94th-minute equaliser Saturday.
Mourinho criticised United’s “childish” display as his side slipped 13 points adrift of runaway Premier League leaders and rivals Manchester City.
With Antonio Valencia injured, Pogba wore the captain’s armband at King Power Stadium but Mourinho refused to talk about leadership responsibilities as he ended his post-match news conference.
An irritated Mourinho told a reporter: “Do you think I want to talk about that now?
“In this moment with captain, and Paul and Paul and captain?
“Do you have any more questions about the game?
As the reporter pressed for an answer, Mourinho replied: “That’s not a line. Merry Christmas”.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 23, 2017
United looked on track for a valuable three points away from home thanks to Juan Mata’s brace, which included a sublime free-kick on the hour, and Daniel Amartey’s red card with 17 minutes remaining.
However, Leicester dramatically salvaged a stoppage-time draw courtesy of Harry Maguire with United centre-back Chris Smalling crippled by an injury during the closing stages.
Smalling’s lack of mobility proved costly as Maguire snuck in at the back post to get on the end of Marc Albrighton’s cross from the left.
“Sometimes you take a point and you say okay and you say [it was] hard to get it and you accept the point as a positive result, but that’s not the case. It was a game to win easily and so it’s easy to say we lost the points,” Mourinho said.
Regarding the Smalling injury, the Portuguese tactician added: “I had the chance to speak with Ashley Young to tell him the way the team had to be in position because of Smalling’s difficulty but I think a lack of maturity because I cannot stop the game to give a team-talk for the last two minutes.
“The players immediately have to adapt and read the game and they didn’t, we had childish decisions in front of goal, bad decisions. It was not about the dribbling and hit the bar, it was not just about the cases with an open goal, it was easy decisions to make to counter-attack.”
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