Jose Mourinho has admitted that he does not currently know his best Manchester United back four after falling to the heaviest home defeat of his career to date.
United suffered back-to-back defeats after just three games of the new
Premier League season on Monday night, going down 3-0 to Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.
Mourinho shuffled his pack following last week’s reverse at Brighton and Hove Albion, dropping Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof from his defence and deploying a back three, with Ander Herrera – naturally a midfielder – stationed at centre-half.
The changes failed to have the desired effect, however. Harry Kane’s header from a corner at the start of the second-half opened the scoring and Tottenham then picked their way through on several occasions, with Lucas Moura adding another two.
When asked during a stormy post-match press conference whether he knew his first-choice defence, Mourinho admitted: “No. Why not? Because in the first game we played Lindelof and Bailly, today we played [Phil] Jones and [Chris] Smalling but now Jones is injured.”
Jones – who failed to compete aerially with Kane for Tottenham’s opening goal – limped off mid-way through the second half with a potential hamstring injury and was replaced by Lindelof.
Mourinho added: “In the next match [at Burnley on Sunday], it will be Smalling with another one and when Marcos Rojo comes he will be an option and no, I don’t know my best back four.”
The United manager then denied that changing his defence around so heavily risked affecting their confidence.