April 7, 2017 / 4:03 PM / 4 months ago

Mourinho claims draw-specialists United are strong at home

Britain Football Soccer - Manchester United v Everton - Premier League - Old Trafford - 4/4/17 Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho walks off dejected after the game Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff Livepic

(Reuters) - Jose Mourinho claimed on Friday that Manchester United are displaying strong home form despite nine Premier League draws at Old Trafford this season.

Their latest point was against Everton on Tuesday, but was only secured from the penalty spot in injury time after another performance that drew criticism for lacking ideas and invention.

Although United's manager conceded that 1-1 against Everton had been a "bad result", he remained upbeat about his team who, in total, have drawn 10 but not lost any of their past 20 league games.

"I still think in spite of the bad result -- a draw is a bad result -- we are strong at home. We lost only one game (against Manchester City)," Mourinho told a news conference.

"I know, as an example, 10 matches, 10 draws or 10 points, 10 matches with five victories is 15 points. What is better? The 15 points, obviously.

"In terms of looking to the future, I prefer to look at 10 matches with 10 draws, you have something that is not easy to have. You are quite solid mentally, difficult to beat, fighting against difficult circumstances," he said.

Sixth-placed United have not lost a league game since their 4-0 defeat by Chelsea in October.

"It's good to know that we have a fantastic run of 20 unbeaten matches in the Premier League," Mourinho said.

United visit basement-side Sunderland on Sunday, and Mourinho offered his sympathy to their manager David Moyes, whose team are 10 points adrift from safety.

"I have sympathy with every manager that is fighting hard to reach their objectives," the Portuguese added. "Some of us, we are sacked in the middle of the season. It's difficult for everyone, so of course I have sympathy."

Mourinho also offered his congratulations to Jesse Lingard, who signed a new four-year contract on Thursday.

"He's English and made in the academy -- these players are very important for the club. It's a very important contract and I congratulate him," he said.

United will be without captain Wayne Rooney, full back Ashley Young, central defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones and midfielder Juan Mata for the trip to Sunderland.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Neil Robinson

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