Man Utd news: The reason why Mourinho will be happy with Watford win | Football | Sport
That is the opinion of Premier League legend and Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer.
The Red Devils returned from the international break with a testing trip to Vicarage Road to face a Hornets side who had a 100 per-cent win record.
But Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling scored within three first-half minutes of each other to put United in charge.
While a spirited Watford comeback saw Andre Gray halve the deficit as Javier Gracia’s side put the pressure on United, Mourinho’s much-criticised stars battled out a hard-fought triumph despite having second-half chances to wrap up the three points.
That sealed a second successive win for United after beating Burnley a fortnight ago as they continue to recover from a difficult start to the season.
Mourinho and his players have received plenty of flak for the back-to-back losses they suffered at the hands of Brighton and Tottenham last month but Shearer believes the United squad are showing they want to play for the Portuguese boss.
That’s despite the feeling last month that Mourinho could be coming to the end of his Old Trafford tenure.
“If you go back almost three weeks and look at the reaction of both football clubs, Tottenham when they beat Manchester United and you look at United’s reaction – go to Burnley [and win], go to Watford [and win],” Shearer said on Match of the Day.
“If you want to quash talk of the manager and losing his job – you need your players to fight, scrap, roll up their sleeves, put in last ditch tackles to get rid of that talk.
“When Mourinho looks at this, particularly second half when they had to dig deep, they were together and without doubt fighting for him.
“Much the better team in the first half but the second half was very different, Watford came into it and you had to see a different Man United.
“Men behind the ball, together, tackling, Fellaini – who I thought was excellent in the first half – and then it helps when you’ve got a goalkeeper who can do that [make a late save].
“[Christian] Kabasele rose above everyone, good header, last minute of the game, fantastic save.
“He’ll be a happy man tonight because of that, because of the other side of the game which you have to show and they showed it very well.”
After the match, Mourinho touched upon a moment in which Romelu Lukaku tracked back in stoppage time to prevent a cross with a sliding tackle and felt it summed up United’s battling performance – though he also admitted a tinge of frustration.
He said: “I’m very happy with the points, I’m very happy with the spirit.
“I am very happy with something that represents for me the spirit of the team, which is [shown by] Lukaku’s sliding tackle after 50 metres running back to help the team.
“But I feel a bit frustrated because we had everything in the first half to kill the game.
“I think if we played the second half in the way we played the last bit of the first we would be in this moment with a completely different result, and without the last 10 minutes [of pressure].”