Manchester United assistant manager Rui Faria says he and manager Jose Mourinho knew it was “not an easy job” taking over at the club — and added that, if it was, their predecessors would have succeeded.
Faria was speaking at a news conference after the 1-1 draw against West Ham United at Old Trafford on Sunday, when Mourinho was sent to the stands for kicking a water bottle in frustration during the first half after midfielder Paul Pogba had been booked for diving.
United have now settled for four straight home draws in the league since the start of October in their first season under Mourinho’s leadership.
“We knew it wasn’t an easy job,” Faria said. “We knew we had a lot of work in front of us.
“If it was easy, the ones who were before us would also have won it. We know it is a big club, we are used to big clubs, and we know how to take a team to win.
“We believe in the players, we believe in the team, we believe that things will change.”
Faria took charge of the side after Mourinho’s dismissal and, when asked about what they had spoken about, the United assistant said that they discussed “things that are important” on the field, rather than the manager’s dismissal.
When asked about the incident which upset Mourinho, Faria said: “I think everyone saw. It’s part of the game. It was a refereeing decision so there’s nothing to say.
“Everyone saw the frustration in a situation that should have been a free kick to us but was given as a yellow to Paul.”
United had fallen behind in the second minute when Jesse Lingard gave away a free kick, allowing Dimitri Payet to deliver for Diafra Sakho, who took advantage of poor marking from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede scored the home team’s equaliser though, heading in from Paul Pogba’s classy delivery.
Discussing the display against West Ham, Faria said: “We were the best team on the pitch. We had no tactical issues during the game; it was the game we expected it to be. Defensively we were compact and offensively we created chances to win comfortably.
“It’s not happening. We are frustrated with that. One day it will have to happen for us. We’ll start winning.”
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