Jose Mourinho hailed the desire of his Manchester United as they ground out a 3-1 win away at Middlesbrough on Sunday to close the gap on the top four in the Premier League.
[ RECAP: United beat Boro 3-1 ]
Ahead of the game Mourinho wasn’t optimistic his team could get the job done after having four games in the past 11 days with UEFA Europa League, FA Cup and Premier League action.
However, his side dug deep as goals from Marouane Fellaini and Jesse Lingard set them on their way and despite Boro pulling one back late on to set up a tense finish, Antonio Valencia added another in stoppage time.
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Speaking after the game, Mourinho was asked what he was most pleased about from United’s performance and he said although they dropped too deep late on he couldn’t fault the mentality of his men who were missing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Wayne Rooney through injury and suspension.
“The attitude, desire and our way of thinking,” Mourinho said. “We don’t have A, B, C, D, E, F and G but we have L, M, N, O, P.”
With United still in Europe and now moving up to fifth place, it has been a good week for Mourinho’s men.
“It is fantastic,” Mourinho said. “We managed in the same week to go to the quarterfinals of the Europa League which was an important target for us and at the same time we got these three points which keep us in the race for top four. We still have two doors open to play Champions League football next season.”
With a tough schedule now in the rear-view mirror, United have two weeks rest over the international break to get players back to fitness. Mourinho reflected on their efforts in the past two weeks and is more than content with how things have turned out.
“Obviously it was too much for us, Rostov away, Chelsea with 10 men, Rostov again and now Middlesbrough,” Mourinho said. “Injured players, tired players, suspended players, these guys today were magnificent.”