Former Scotland national team manager Gordon Strachan says he understand Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho’s reaction to Manchester City’s dressing room celebrations after their Manchester derby win.
Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to 11 points with a 2-1 victory over closest rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday and it was no surprise to see the Citizens being left delighted with the result.
As the celebrations continued into the dressing room, United boss Jose Mourinho took exception as he felt that the City players were gloating and went into the away changing facilities to confront them.
Mourinho’s actions allegedly sparked a 30 man brawl between the Manchester City and Manchester United players’ and staff, and City coach Mikel Arteta suffered a cut to his head in the midst of the fracas.
While many felt that Mourinho probably crossed the line by approaching the away dressing room in the first place, former Scotland national team manager Gordon Strachan has stated that he completely understands the actions of the Portuguese boss.
Strachan said on the Debate, “I think the main problem with it is that you come up the main tunnel to the dressing rooms and the manager’s office is right next to the away dressing room and further on is the home dressing room.
“I can understand [Mourinho’s reaction], I really can, because I would like to think if I had players like that, I could say to them ‘listen, we’ve won it, get change, shut up and let’s get on the bus’.
“If that was Sir Alex [Ferguson], in the next team talk, he would say ‘do you remember what they were doing in there when we got beaten?’ so that would be his power, anger and motivation for the next game hearing people singing, dancing and cheering.
“I think Pep Guardiola did do that [told his players to get onto the bus] and his staff wanted to celebrate but he said ‘no, let’s get away’ so if that had happened, two things would have happened. You wouldn’t have got the milk throwing, which is nothing, and it wouldn’t have given ammunition to the manager sitting next door.
“If you want to get back to your own stadium and sing and dance then great, but I think when you’re in that area, in close proximity to the manager’s office as well, although most probably didn’t know it was just there, I think that is energy for the Man Utd players.
“If I was going to be doing anything now, I would be saying ‘do you remember what happened on Saturday? They think they’ve won the league, they think it’s easy, they’ve enjoyed coming here. Let’s do something about this. Every time you make a run, think about that. Every time you go for a header, bullet it into the back of the net because they were enjoying themselves’.”