Jose Mourinho laid into his Manchester United flops after defeat at Brighton – with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial the chief subjects of his thinly-veiled criticism.
The Portuguese made six changes to the starting lineup that beat Arsenal 2-1 on Sunday.
Notable absentees included Romelu Lukaku, the club’s top scorer, and Alexis Sanchez, both of whom missed the clash due to injury.
In their respective absences both Rashford and Martial started, while Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata were both also in from the start on the south coast.
But the Red Devils failed to impress, with Pascal Gross’ second half strike handing Chris Hughton’s men all three points.
It was little more than the home side deserved, with United’s player of the year, David de Gea, their best performer on the night.
He made a number of good saves in a sloppy first half display from United’s outfield contingent, leaving Mourinho to fume at the final whistle.
"Not good enough,” he said of the performance, when asked by Sky Sports. "The players that replaced others they didn’t perform at a good level and when individuals don’t perform at a good level, then it’s difficult for the team to perform at a good level.
"Now you understand why some players play more than others.”
Central to Mourinho’s ire was strike pair Rashford and Martial, who made little impression throughout.
Both have been in and out of the side this season, and Mourinho has been criticised at times for leaving the pair out or not offering them opportunities in a central position.
Lukaku, who hobbled out of the win over Arsenal with an ankle problem, has scored 27 times since his £75million summer switch from Everton, and has been undisputed first choice.
And Mourinho says that what happened on Friday night proves exactly why.
“The attitude from the first minute and in the first half – they were stronger than us, [had] more appetite. I didn’t succeed in persuading my players that four points to finish second is important – for me it is, but maybe not for my players.
"The point really meant a lot for them, so i think they got the bonus of their attitude.
"I wouldn’t say [I’m] disappointed, because I know them [my players]. But I thought for some of them, the possibility to start, the possibility to give reasons to all the critics towards my choices – why always Lukaku, why always Lukaku, why always Lukaku, why always this and this – well you have the answer.
"So probably we are not as good individually as people think we are."
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