Mark Hughes said he had pushed Jose Mourinho during Manchester United’s 2-2 draw at Stoke because the United manager had encroached into his technical area. However, he was not upset by Mourinho’s refusal to shake hands.
“I am not sure why he didn’t want to shake my hand,” said Hughes after a match which ended Manchester United’s perfect start to the season. “I didn’t think there were any issues. There was a time when he came into my technical box and I told him to get out. Maybe it was that what upset him. Sometimes managers don’t take negative results too kindly.
“I prefer not to answer questions about handshakes,” said Mourinho. “It is a bad question, it makes it look like it is my fault but that’s not right.”
However, the United manager did anger his Stoke counterpart by suggesting that there had only been one team that had wanted to win the game. “One team wanted to win and the other was happy with the draw,” he said. “We could have scored more goals and we could have won. But we conceded the second which was a bad goal.”
Mourinho was reluctant to criticise Phil Jones, who slipped as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting headed home Stoke’s second. The England defender had also been at fault for the Cameroon striker’s opening goal.
“It is not the moment to speak,” Mourinho said. “He knows the mistake, part of his game is playing well for us, but he was probably tired after consecutive matches with the national team.
“Stoke could only score on the counter-attack or set pieces and this was a game for Marouane Fellaini (who was absent with a calf injury picked up on international duty with Belgium). If he played, we would have been more dominant at set pieces. We did not have time after we went ahead 2-1 to kill the game and then they defended with everything they had. But I am not disappointed with the players,”
Hughes was withering of Mourinho’s reading of the game, arguing Stoke had played as well as in the victory over Arsenal last month.
“I thought we went toe to toe with them,” he said. “We forced them back at times because of the talent they have in the group and the finance they are able to throw at the team but we never sit back and wait for the inevitable. We fought to the end against a side that has the capacity to sweep all before it.”