Published: Thu, September 14, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Jose Mourinho storms out of interview over no handshake question; watch video

Jose Mourinho storms out of interview over no handshake question; watch video

A return of three goals in 23 Bundesliga appearances did not exactly set pulses racing, even if allowances were made for the Royal Blues' all-round struggles as they limped to a disappointing 10th-place finish.

Speaking to MUTV, former Premier League title victor Matic said: 'It was a tough game.

"If we want to be champions, we have to win games like this because in these games, if you win, you are champion. Stoke are a good team, so it was hard, but we managed to get a point".

"I know after national teams (international matches) there are injuries or fatigue or lack of concentration, and we had a little bit of everything".

Maxim Choupo-Moting put Mark Hughes' men ahead against the run of play late in the first half, only for a Paul Pogba header to go in off Marcus Rashford just before the break.

Just over 10 minutes into the second half, United took the lead as Henrikh Mkitaryan played in Lakuku, who was denied by Butland initially but managed to slot home the rebound.

"Mistakes are part of the game, he's playing well for us, he's probably exhausted with two consecutive matches with the national team".

Having won all three of their opening games, scoring more goals than any other side and not conceding, Jose Mourinho looked to have arguably the most balanced squad in the league.

At the end of last season, questions were asked over whether Mark Hughes was the right man to lead Stoke forward after a poor season in the top flight, but the Welshman has already started to repay the faith shown in him by the Potters hierarchy.

In one of his by-now frequent and thinly veiled critiques of his former club Chelsea, Mourinho pointed out that his successor Antonio Conte employed a defence-first, counter- attacking style to win last season's title. So I'm not disappointed with the players, I'm not critical with it, it's just a natural outcome. "I try to bring good players here and we try to play football and I think you saw evidence of that".

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Mourinho insisted it's very important that the players demonstrate the correct degree of confidence over the coming few matches.

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