Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said it would be difficult to make changes to his side despite recent dropped points due to the quality of the players’ performances.
United’s nine-game winning run in all competitions ended when they drew 1-1 against Liverpool at Old Trafford and that was followed by another 1-1 draw, away against Stoke City, on Saturday.
Anthony Martial, last season’s top scorer, was not selected in the matchday squad at Stoke.
Mourinho told reporters: “Sometimes we are playing so well and creating chances — it is not easy to make changes.
“It is easy to make changes when you see players not playing well, when you see a team not playing well. I change trying to give a different direction to the game.”
United had 25 shots against Stoke, while the home team managed six, and it continued a recurring theme this season of pressure not being turned into goals.
Juan Mata missed the best of the chances, shooting over from close range — and also scored an own goal — before Wayne Rooney eventually equalised late on for Mourinho’s side.
The United manager said: “A top team has to be much more clinical. You have to get the first chance of the match and ‘bang,’ 1-0. When you are winning by a goal then, the next chance, ‘boom’ — kill the opponent. And we are not doing that enough.
“We did that in a couple of matches but even in the matches that we won, if I remember for example Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace, it is always hard to score goals.”
Speaking in his postmatch news conference after the Stoke game, he said: “I’ve been saying for a long, long time that one day we will score every chance of the match and somebody will go home with six or seven goals in the basket but the reality is that day never arrives and we always struggle so much to score goals.
“We hit the post, the goalkeeper saves, we miss the easy chance, and then in the end, we risk losing the match — by scoring an own goal — and we had to wait until minute 90-something to equalise.”
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