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'It's a step back' - Mourinho bemoans mistakes in Tottenham defeat to Manchester United

7:04 AM GMT+8 05/12/2019
Jose Mourinho Tottenham 2019-20
The Spurs boss had an unhappy return to the Theatre of Dreams and was disappointed at his team's performance

Tottenham took a 'step back' in a 2-1 defeat to a Manchester United side aiming to achieve a similar objective this season, according to their boss Jose Mourinho.

Spurs were sunk by a Marcus Rashford brace at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, with the striker netting at the start of each half, and they couldn't develop momentum from Dele Alli's superb equaliser just before the half-time break.

Mourinho felt his team are on a similar level to the Red Devils this campaign and was disappointed in their failure to get a result, but urged his players to focus on their next fixture against Burnley at home on Saturday.

"It's a step back against a team that is playing with same objective as us - trying to get up the table and reach the top six," Mourinho said to BBC Sport after the defeat.

"We need to keep going. We made mistakes but it's not good to be crying about them now, we have a difficult match on Saturday (Burnley at home)."

Mourinho was well aware of the danger Rashford posed from the left flank from his time coaching the England international at the Theatre of Dreams.

The 22-year-old finished with venom at the near post to give United the lead after six minutes, before cancelling out Alli's equaliser from the spot four minutes after the restart.

"When [Rashford] plays from the left he is really dangerous and I knew that and gave the players the best information about it," Mourinho said. 

"His first goal is a typical Rashford goal coming on the inside. Our boys knew that clearly."

The situation looked promising for Spurs when Alli levelled the match with an expert touch and finish shortly before the half-time break.

Mourinho praised Alli's effort over the 90 minutes, with the attacking midfielder scoring four goals in his last three matches.

"Dele is fine, he gave a good performance and tried everything, even in the second half when it's more difficult and they are more compact," Mourinho said.

The Portuguese coach was returning to Old Trafford as a manager for the first time since being dismissed as United boss 12 months ago.

However, Mourinho was content at the reaction from Red Devils supporters to his presence.

"It was nice, polite, educated and what I was expecting," he said.