WEST BROMWICH — Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United are not ready to concede the Premier League title to Manchester City and “go on holiday.”
United cut City’s lead at the top to 11 points after beating West Brom 2-1 at The Hawthorns but City’s dominant 4-1 win over Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday prompted some pundits to suggest the title race is over.
But Mourinho told a news conference on Sunday that was not the case: “For me it is one game. We try to win, we are happy to win, we are not happy to lose. It will be like that. I know the questions are always coming in the same direction.
“I keep saying, last match in the Premier League, Watford at Old Trafford, mid-May and until then every match we go, every match we try to win because if you ask that question to us and then you do the same question to the third and the fourth and to the fifth and sixth, probably they disappear, on their holidays.
“We don’t want to go on holiday, we want to play until the last match.”
City’s players were filmed singing “park the bus, park the bus Man United” following their win over Tottenham.
It was copied by the United fans at The Hawthorns after watching their team go 2-0 up inside 35 minutes thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard, but Mourinho was keen not to talk about that.
“No, I didn’t see, I didn’t watch,” he said about the video filmed inside City’s dressing room. “I am not interested in that. You are the journalist, the ones to make the valuation, comment, for me, nothing.”
The United manager was happier to talk about Lukaku, who scored his third goal in his last four games after a run of one in 12.
The Belgium international, who spent a season on loan at West Brom in 2012-13, did not celebrate his first-half header, as he did against Bournemouth on Wednesday, but Mourinho said it was not evidence of a deeper problem.
He said: “I think two reasons [Lukaku did not celebrate]. One his love for West Brom. He was a happy kid here, they help him, they make him feel at home. It was here he exploded into the Premier League, so for sure, that.
“And probably the second is because he looks at me and I do not celebrate either. And he thinks if he doesn’t celebrate, why should I?
“We get more experience, more balance, you don’t go crazy when you win, you don’t go depressed when you lose.
“You are much more stable with experience. Some other managers they are different and they don’t change. I change.
“If I score a goal in the last minute do you see me run? For sure. But a goal in minute 20 something, 1-0, with a lot to play, let’s play.”
The one downside for Mourinho was an injury to Antonio Valencia. The right-back was replaced in the second-half after picking up a hamstring problem and will now be a doubt for the trip to Bristol City in the Carabao Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Mourinho said: “This is what I call a December injury. It is an injury of accumulation of fatigue. It is a muscular one.
“Hamstring. Big, small, medium, I don’t know. Let’s wait. I think he is an experienced guy to not let it go to difficult limits.
“But it is an injury of fatigue. Everyone in the Premier League especially the ones in more accumulation of cups, European cups, they are at risk.”