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Referee mistakes and defensive errors cost us- Mourinho

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Manchester United's Jose Mourinho in pensive mood ahead of the Premier League clash against Watford at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, on September 18, 2016
Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho in pensive mood ahead of the Premier League clash against Watford at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, on September 18, 2016

LONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 18 – Jose Mourinho pointed to mistakes by the referee and poor defending as reasons for Manchester United’s 3-1 loss at Watford.

United fell to a third straight defeat after goals from Etienne Capoue, Juan Camilo Zuniga and Troy Deeney for Watford.

Mourinho insisted the referee should not have allowed the first goal, which came from Anthony Martial being robbed of the ball and Daryl Janmaat crossing for Capoue to strike.

“I can split this into three factors – one is the referee’s crucial mistakes, it’s not in my control,” said Mourinho.

“I can’t do anything, I can’t change that, it’s not under my control, but against Man City you know what happened in the 55th minute.

“Today, you know what happened in the first goal, so we were punished by these mistakes but I can’t do anything.”

During the Manchester derby, City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo made a heavy challenge on Wayne Rooney in the penalty area, but referee Mark Clattenburg did not award a penalty, much to Mourinho’s annoyance.

After claiming bad luck as the second factor in the Watford defeat, Mourinho conceded it was defensive mistakes from his own players that led to Watford’s second goal.

It came after Nordin Amrabat advanced with the ball down the wing, finding Roberto Pereyra, whose cross was tucked away by Zuniga.

“The third thing is what is in my hands, improvement of the team and the individuals. I tried to stop the defensive mistakes, and I knew that I had a task,” Mourinho added.

“Their second goal is a mistake. It’s a mistake that goes against our plan and against our training because our intention was for the wing-backs to be pressed and not let them progress.

“But what happens is that their guy gets the ball 25 metres away from our box and we gave him the space.

This is a tactical but also a mental attitude. It’s something that doesn’t become perfect in a couple of weeks. So we have to improve, no doubt, individually and collectively. And that’s my job.

Defeat for United caps a miserable eight days for Mourinho’s side after they were beaten in the Manchester derby last Saturday and then in the Europa League by Feyenoord on Thursday.

It is the first time Mourinho has lost three games in a row as a manager since August 2006, when he was in his first spell at Chelsea but he eventually sounded a philosophical tone.

“I feel that some individuals probably feel the pressure and responsibility too much,” he said.

“But from a collective point of view, I only have good things to say about them. At 1-1 everyone thinks we are going to win the game. We were showing complete control, intensity, creation.

“We started the season very well with (winning) the Community Shield and three victories in a row in the Premier League, the best start that a new manager has had at Manchester United I think.

But was I thinking that my team was ready, perfect, unbeatable? Not at all.

“I was completely aware that we were not perfect, with lots of players who are not end products and can make their own mistakes.”

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