The Portuguese endured a chastening return to Stamford Bridge as he suffered a 4-0 demolition against Chelsea to leave United seventh in the table, already six points adrift of the leading pack.
However, Mourinho pointed out that his side have some kinder fixtures coming up and threw down the gauntlet for his players to “be men” and respond to the defeat.
“I would prefer to play (next) in the Premier League. It’s a bad feeling in the Premier League. With the combination of results the gap to the top is six points. We have had a very difficult period of matches. We lost points this week and, even in the match when we played phenomenal against Stoke, we lost points then. Now we need to win matches,” he told MUTV .
“I am not saying they are easy ones, but we have Burnley, we have Swansea, West Ham, Sunderland, Middlesbrough – matches that we need to win and the top four, the top five, they have to play between themselves like we did this week against Chelsea and Liverpool.
“They are going to lose points too, so we are in the run, but there is no way to hide because I think our faces speak by themselves. We are really, really sad, but again this is not for kids, this is for men and…we have to be men and work for the next one.”
United will look to return to winning ways against local rivals and league leaders Manchester City in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night.