Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho saw all three of his substitutes contribute to the goals that earned a 2-0 win over Leicester City on Saturday but was quick to dismiss praise of his tactical move.
Marcus Rashford scored the opener three minutes after coming on and Jesse Lingard and Marouane Fellaini combined for the second goal to complete United’s third straight win of the Premier League season.
“Very good players,” Mourinho said, when it was suggested that he had made intelligent substitutions.
”This is about the quality of the players because they are good. It doesn’t matter if they come from the bench because the group is solid.
“I am really happy. Not for me, when we make changes, it is always the right changes. I am happy for them, for Marouane, for Jesse, for Marcus,” he said.
“If I don’t have them on the bench I can’t make successful changes. The players work hard and those who are not playing and are on the bench, or in the stands, are working hard too and waiting for the chance,” he said.
It was the kind of game that United might have drawn last season.
“We didn’t have many matches last season where we played 90 minutes with the control we had today. Is (Jamie) Vardy a very dangerous player? I would say one of the most dangerous in the Premier League. Was he dangerous today? I would say no because we played very well to control that,” Mourinho said.
“Were Leicester very dangerous against Arsenal? Yes, I watched the match three times. Were they dangerous against us? No,” he said.
The former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager said his team’s excellent start to the season – with 10 goals scored and three clean sheets – were a result of excellent preparations.
“We had a very good pre-season. We worked really well. We had great conditions to work together, to be together in a beautiful atmosphere in Los Angeles.
“We played against good teams, the best team in Europe (Real Madrid) twice. The pre-season was very complete and then we started the Premier League and we are playing well,” he said.