Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has laid heavily into his players despite their 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday night.
Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic scored to put United into a record-equalling 29th FA Cup semi-final.
“We didn’t play as I wanted them to play; we didn’t play as I prepared the team to play,” Mourinho said in his post-match press conference.
“We deserved to win, clearly – we had the match under control – but we didn’t play well. Sometimes there is a contradiction between what you work on in the past two days and what you did on the pitch.
“That is more frustrating than the result. Once more I wasn’t happy with the connection in the build-up. I blame everybody.”
United were ponderous under bitterly cold conditions and had only two shots on target and Mourinho was unhappy with his players.
He said: “A few other guys, I saw them scared to play. I cannot say much more. It is a relation with personality, is a relation to trust, is a relation to class.
“When the sun is shining and everything goes well, you win matches, you score goals, everything goes in your direction, every player is a good player and wants to play and wants the ball and looks amazing and is confident.
“When it is dark and cold, and in football that means a period of bad results or a bad result, not everybody has the confidence and personality to play really.
“To be on the pitch and touch the ball every five minutes, everyone can do it, but to be on the pitch and say ‘give me the ball because I want to play’, not everyone can do that.
“I prefer to name the good ones. Matic was an island of personality and quality and reaction to the defeat of last Tuesday.
“Scott (McTominay) played the worst match since he played with me in the first team but he is a Manchester United player for sure. He is the player that made mistakes, passed the ball so badly tonight, lost so many passes but had the big personality to cope with the mistake.
“He had the big personality to say: ‘I am not playing well but at least I am going to do the basic things of the game, keep position, recover balls and don’t make defensive mistakes.’ But a few of the other guys, I saw them scared to play.”
Mourinho then suggested that Luke Shaw, who he has often openly cricicised, and fellow full-back Antonio Valencia failed to follow his tactical instructions.
Shaw, who rejected Mourinho’s advances at Chelsea to join Manchester United in 2015, was hauled off at half-time.
“It is my decision,” he said. “We worked on certain kinds of movements, where it was really important the two full-backs were aggressive, created space for Matic and were in front of the two central defenders. I didn’t have that.
“I could have changed both of them at half-time. I didn’t change both because it was too aggressive to do it. I would only have one more change available to make in 90 minutes.
“I had to change one and I chose Luke because at least Antonio defensively was capable of good positioning. Luke, in the first half, every time they came in his corridor, the cross came in and a dangerous situation was coming. I was not happy with his performance.”