Jose Mourinho said Manchester United was “really, really, really down” at halftime of their 3-2 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.
His captain, Paul Pogba, didn’t let those vibes temper his efforts to turn the game around, though he admits his Red Devils weren’t up to the challenge.
“They had more hunger than us and the result is the right one for them,” he said.
Pogba said he was disappointed in his performance, and the team’s mentality.
“I will always try. I know I lost a lot of balls which shouldn’t happen. I tried, I kept pushing, that’s my personality. I tried to help the team as much as possible. It didn’t happen today.
“Brighton prepared the game very well. Maybe we didn’t have the attitude to break them, to kill them when we had to kill them and to go through the lines. That’s a lesson we have to keep in mind.”
There have been warning bells ringing at Manchester United for some time, and Old Trafford will be a nightmare if the Red Devils don’t answer them against Spurs a week from Monday.
Pogba was far from the main problem on Sunday. He set Romelu Lukaku up for what could’ve easily been the opening goal of the game — and usually would be — with a delightful through ball, and influenced the game on several occasions aside from his converted penalty kick.
But with Fred struggling and Nemanja Matic absent, Pogba was needed more in his 2017-18 role and couldn’t dominate defensively. That’s a tall ask down 3-1, but he has to stop the match from getting to that point.
EDIT: Here’s video and some more thoughts from Pogba after the match:
“Everybody likes to play against United. Obviously they want to beat us, they want to win. We need to be more focused,” he said. “Obviously much better than today. I’m not a superhero to see the future but obviously we need to play much better than today.”