Jose Mourinho has admitted he made a mistake that nearly cost him the game against Brighton on Saturday.
The former Chelsea boss said he played with too many attackers as Manchester United laboured to a slender 1-0 victory over Brighton at Old Trafford.
Ashley Young’s deflected shot in the second half separated both teams.
The Portuguese manger had Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata and Paul Pogba on the pitch.
Mourinho told reporters, “I wouldn’t be surprised if today some of the pundits say we play with too many attackers. I wouldn’t be surprised.
“But if they said that, I think they were right. Sometimes you play with too many attacking players and you lose control of the game.
“We had a few problems defensively because [Nemanja] Matic and Pogba, they were a bit isolated in the centre of the park.
“If you compensate that with more creation, that’s good, that’s a good risk. Against Newcastle, it was good because we were not very solid defensively but we were really strong in creation. Today our creation was poor.
“The three players that played with Lukaku, they didn’t get the ball, nor successful on the one against one. Marcus didn’t have a happy match at all. So we didn’t have creation.”
Mourinho admitted the performance was poor. “We didn’t play well.
“The good thing for me was the intensity was higher in the second half in search of the goal and then after the goal we couldn’t kill the game.
“In the last 20 minutes I saw a humble team with everybody trying to play for the clean sheet and giving everything, and people like Lukaku playing wide on the left and chasing defenders.
“So I am happy with the attitude but I have to praise a team and a manager who were playing in the Championship a few months ago, and they were the team who gave us the most problems.”