Jose Mourinho insisted that Manchester United’s win over Real Madrid in Miami has not changed his view of the club’s tour or the problems facing him with just 10 days to go before the start of the season.
Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera gave United a 2-1 victory in the Hard Rock Stadium over a Madrid side playing their first game of pre-season.
It saw United finish their troubled tour on a high before flying back to Manchester in the early hours of Wednesday, but the result did little to change Mourinho’s mind.
The United boss spoke out after a 4-1 defeat by Liverpool in Michigan at the weekend, saying fans shouldn’t waste their money watching the games, complaining about the lack of new signings, and venting his frustration at the fact he cannot work with all his senior players.
‘The match doesn’t change anything,’ said Mourinho. ‘My professional players were amazing all pre-season because they know we play against good teams, against good opponents. We have just a few players here and lots of kids.
‘People like Herrera, (Eric) Bailly, (Juan) Mata, (Matteo) Darmian, they were phenomenal all pre-season, playing almost every minute of every game. So the game today, win 2-1, lose 2-1, draw 2-2, doesn’t change anything, but of course I know the players I can count on.
‘These guys are amazing pros, they give everything for the club, for the prestige of the club. It’s not nice to come here and lose 6-1 against Real Madrid and they were phenomenal.
‘But I didn’t learn anything. I know what Herrera, Mata and Sanchez are. I know the kids are very young and need time to grow up. I know my players gave everything and in the last 15 minutes we are dead and they bring on (Toni) Kroos and Asensio and Isco.
‘I thought we wouldn’t resist it but the boys gave everything and we try to fight for the best result. But tactically, it means nothing.
‘We tried to organise the best possible team to defend against them. I was not working to prepare the team for the future of the Premier League, I was just trying to get the best possible result. We were just trying to survive.
‘But the result of the game today is not important. If you play Real Madrid in the Champions League that result is important, not today.’
Mourinho paid credit to Relevent Sports, perhaps regretting that his comments about the poor quality of games on tour may have reflected badly on the International Champions Cup organisers.
He added: ‘I just want to say once more what I keep repeating: Relevent are the best in the world at organising pre-seasons and I feel really sorry we couldn’t give them more.
‘I know Real Madrid would feel the same and would like to have here a world champion like (Raphael) Varane. They would like to have here Golden Ball winner Luka Modric, but it is what it is and it’s difficult for every club with lots of players in national teams.’