Jose Mourinho refused to pass judgement on his Manchester United fringe players after his side were beaten 1-0 in their Europa League opener at Feyenoord.
United put in a disjointed performance at De Kuip and were caught by a 79th-minute sucker punch from Tonny Vilhena that proved enough to earn all three points for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men in the Group A fixture.
The likes of Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Morgan Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera were all given the chance to stake a claim for a starting berth having had limited minutes this term, but United endured a frustrating evening.
Despite a poor result, Mourinho feels it is unfair to judge United’s performance against a settled Feyenoord team that sits top of the Eredivisie with five wins from five.
“I don’t want to go in that direction, I don’t want to personalise,” he told BT Sport.
“Some players are playing their first minutes of the season, there have not been many minutes for them.
“Obviously some played better than others but you can’t judge on one game. They play with the same boys week after week, same team for every competition against some guys playing their first minutes.”
Mourinho, though, did concede United would field a side that looked more like the team that lost last weekend’s derby to Manchester City against Watford on Sunday.
“It’s obvious, we left [Antonio] Valencia, [Luke] Shaw back home for example to be fresh,” he added. “So we go back to a normal team without so many changes.”
The Special One also felt hard done by Feyenoord’s winner, with suspicions of offside against Nicolai Jorgensen, who provided the assist for Vilhena.
“We were always in control, trying to win and they were trying not to lose,” he said.
“We were trying to push and they were collapsing a little bit because physically they were in trouble and, exactly in that moment, we lose the game. Double unlucky because he [Jorgensen] was offside.”