Jose Mourinho has praised the Manchester United fans for their “magnificent” support but believes they should focus on cheering on the team, not him.
United fought back from 2-0 down to beat Newcastle United 3-2 on Saturday, with Alexis Sanchez scoring a 90th-minute winner in front of the Stretford End at Old Trafford.
The result will likely help to reduce some of the pressure on Mourinho, and the majority of the home fans sung the name of the under-fire manager after Sanchez had put them in front.
But although he was “amazed” by the crowd’s response, Mourinho insists the victory was for the supporters and the players, not for him.
“I’m happy for the fans and for the players,” he told a news conference.
“I’m amazed by that response [from the crowd]. I don’t want that, and if I could tell them to not do it, I would, because it is not about me. It is about the football club they love and the football club we represent with honour and dignity.
“At half-time, we were losing 2-0 and the fans were magnificent to the team and that is fantastic.
“In my football memories, I remember when I beat Liverpool at Anfield 4-0 and I was amazed that the stadium was singing their song, but now I am in a situation where I’m losing 2-0 at home in a match everyone knows is important for us to win, and they were amazing.
“I am really grateful for that and my happiness about the victory is not for myself, it is for the fans and the players. The fans can go home with a feeling of victory.”
Mourinho had earlier hit out at what he described as a “man-hunt” and “wickedness” following intense speculation over his future, which included a report from The Daily Mirror on Friday claiming he would be sacked regardless of Saturday’s result.
The former Chelsea boss, who said that such scrutiny “doesn’t stop”, feels some of his players have been affected but hailed them for displaying “pride” in the second half.
“It happened that we started nervous. The team in my opinion didn’t cope well with the pressure of the man-hunting,” he said.
“Every ball around our box was almost a goal or some mistake, a bad decision, panic. And at half-time we spoke, everybody, and the team faced the second half with a different spirit, a different belief, giving everything for the victory.
“These football clubs, they are not made only of just victories and just difficult moments, but always with pride. Not just always victories, always pride. In the second half, it’s pride. We needed the victory, too. Everything is better.
“At half-time, we are losing 2-0 and I know we can do better [than] we are doing. But football is football and every result is possible, as you can see.”