Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has insisted that he is still “happy” with his players despite seeing them held to a third consecutive Premier League draw by Southampton at Old Trafford on Saturday.
United’s 0-0 draw against Southampton at Old Trafford saw them drop to third position in the table heading into the New Year, having now failed to win any of their last four games across all competitions.
Mourinho was particularly unhappy with a penalty appeal which was rejected by referee Craig Pawson when Mayi Yoshida handled the ball in the Southampton box.
“I think it is also a disappointing afternoon for Craig because he’s a fantastic referee, one of the best in Europe,” the Portuguese told reporters after the game.
“We missed easy chances but I’m really unhappy with the penalty, not with Pawson’s performance – today I think Craig had a good performance, it was a big decision to make from Craig.
“I’m happy with the players’ attitude, the players’ desires and I’m very happy with my players.”
The Red Devils lost Romelu Lukaku to a head injury in the game and the Belgian forward is now set to miss Friday’s FA Cup clash with Derby County.
The £75million striker was carried off after appearing to be briefly knocked out following a clash of heads with Wesley Hoedt.
United have also lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a month as he struggles to fully recover from a cruciate injury suffered last season.
“He is a 37-year-old with a bad knee,” Mourinho remarked.
“We don’t have any news about Lukaku yet. We will know tomorrow.
“But the way he had to leave the pitch showed he has a problem and I think we will be without him for the next two matches.”