LONDON. — Jose Mourinho turned on Manchester United’s critics after his team came from behind to reach the FA Cup final on Saturday. Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera sent United through to a Wembley meeting with Chelsea or Southampton next month after Dele Alli had fired Tottenham into an early lead.
“We should ask ourselves why there is too many critics on all of us?” said Mourinho.
“We can finish second with seven more points. To do that with all the fantastic teams we play against will be an achievement for a club that couldn’t do it for a few years now.
“We need two victories and one draw to finish second with 81 points behind an untouchable City, no chance to get in the fight with them. I think second with 81 points is a good season and then we can come to the final with a good spirit, supported by good supporters.
“And it will be a fourth final in three years. So, maybe too much criticism?
“We deserve it. If we split the match into periods we were the best team for many of these periods.
“Even when they had the ball when we were winning we were totally in control.
“We lost control after it went 1-0. At half-time we spoke. We came back late for the second half because we spoke a lot and organised ourselves.”
By contrast, a record eighth consecutive FA Cup semi-final defeat for Spurs ensured their decade-long wait for a trophy continues.
“We want to win trophies, we have the staff that want to win. We can’t keep doing this,” said Alli. “We can’t throw it away. We have got to improve.”
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is still waiting for his first trophy after four years in charge.Pochettino played down the importance of winning his first silverware as a coach beforehand, claiming it “wouldn’t change their lives”. And the Argentine insisted that finishing in the Premier League top four for a third consecutive season to qualify for the Champions League is more important to their progress as a club than silverware
“For me the most important is now we finish in the top four to play again in the Champions League,” said Pochettino.
“Sometimes after the game I am very frustrated, but quickly I move on and we have four games to make sure we play Champions League. It will be a successful season if we assure our position.”
Pogba and Sanchez have been the two marquee signings of Mourinho’s time in charge, but both have largely failed to meet the standards expected of them this season with Mourinho even dropping Pogba regularly throughout the campaign.
“I tell Alexis the same (thing) I told Paul a couple of weeks ago,” added Mourinho. “I cannot expect them to score goals, be man-of-the-match or be perfect every match, but I can expect a level where you don’t go below that.
“That is the basics. If you do the basics then in some games your talent makes the difference.”