Jose Mourinho has admitted to being surprised by Ander Herrera's comments to the press after Manchester United's defeat to Huddersfield last weekend, in which the midfielder claimed that the newly promoted side had shown more passion than himself and his teammates.
Mourinho appeared to react badly to the Spaniard's comments at the time but, quoted by Sky Sports in the buildup to Saturday lunchtime's key clash against Spurs at Wembley, praised the 28-year-old for his maturity in being able to identify his own weaknesses.
"I was surprised," he admitted, "but I was happy about his words because it is not easy for the players to recognise and admit (why they lost).
"So I was happy because it shows dignity, character and intelligence to know the reason why we lost the match. So contrary to some imaginary sources that tell you everything we do here, I can promise you that since that match I didn't speak one single second about the match, because (there's) no need."
Mourinho also played down the defeat to David Wagner's side, insisting that surprise defeats are inevitable over the course of a season, but backed his players to bounce back stronger than ever - saying: "To play bad and lose matches I think can happen again, it happens.
"During a season you can't play well all the time, you can't win all the time and you can not even be lucky all of the time. So I think we are going to lose again. But in terms of the attitude that we didn't like, because I know the players and how good a people they are, I believe that was an isolated case."