/ 18 December 2017

Premier League: Mourinho won’t give up on catching City

City's victory sent them 11 points clear of United at the top of the Premier League table
City's victory sent them 11 points clear of United at the top of the Premier League table

Jose Mourinho insisted Manchester United will not give up on the Premier League title race after his side cut Manchester City’s lead back to 11 points.

Mourinho’s side won 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday with goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard before Gareth Barry replied for the hosts.

And Mourinho is adamant United will keep going until the end of the season despite their Manchester rivals’ huge lead at the top.

“I know that the questions are always coming in the same direction and I keep saying the same,” Mourinho said.

“Our last match in the Premier League is Watford at Old Trafford, in mid-May, and until then in every match we go — every match we will try to win.

“If people ask that question to us and then you do it to the third team and the fourth and to the fifth and to the sixth, probably they will disappear.

“Probably they want to go on holidays. We don’t want to go on holidays. We want to play until the last match.”

Mourinho refused to be drawn on the leaked video which emerged on social media before United’s victory at the Hawthorns, showing City players celebrating Saturday’s win against Tottenham by taunting United over their cautious style of play with the words “park the bus”.

“I didn’t see, I didn’t watch,” Mourinho said. “I am not interested in doing that.

“You are the ones to make your evaluations, your comments. For me, nothing.”

United are set to check on the fitness of captain Antonio Valencia after he limped off with a sore hamstring after 66 minutes at West Brom.

The full-back will be assessed ahead of the League Cup trip to Bristol City on Wednesday and next Saturday’s Premier League game at Leicester.

Pardew errors

“The Valencia injury is what I call a December injury,” said Mourinho.

“It is an injury of the accumulation of fatigue. It is a muscular one – hamstring. Big, small, medium? I don’t know.

“He is an experienced guy who will know not to let it go to difficult limits.

“But it is an injury of fatigue – everyone in the Premier League, especially the ones with more accumulation of cups and European cups, are at risk.”

Meanwhile, West Brom are still without a win in four games under new boss Alan Pardew despite an improved second-half display against United.

And Pardew admitted his own errors after the game.

“We were disappointed in the first half and I think I picked the wrong team,” he said.

“The boys gave me so much at Liverpool, obviously I’m getting to know them, but I didn’t think we had that energy in the first half that we need against Man United. It was too comfortable for them.

“Second half, we had some experience in Gareth Barry, I thought he made a big difference when he came on.

“And then Chris Brunt came on and suddenly we looked threatening from the moment he entered the pitch.

“It was a lesson for the other players in having confidence in what you’re doing.

“There are some good managers at the bottom of the league and some good squads and we’re not going to make it up playing like we did in the first half.”

© Agence France-Presse