"Today we played different, more of the ball to the opponents we dropped the line a little bit back we attacked spaces and first half should be 3-0", the 54-year-old said about the game's tactics.
United moved above Arsenal into fifth place with an eighth win in its last 11 matches in all competitions. Then (Phil) Jones and (Chris) Smalling were exhausted so I brought on an extra defender (Rojo) to give them a little bit of comfort and support.
"Last season we had the same experience".
"Because in the first year when he arrived, the team was going to (third-tier) League One and he saved the team". It's a factor which he believes will hinder his side's chances of winning the Europa League.
The pressure is growing on second-bottom Boro, however, with five points now separating them from safety, though they do have a game in hand on Hull City and Swansea City above them.
Middlesbrough made headlines this week by sacking manager Aitor Karanka after more than three years at the helm.
During the second half, with around 20 minutes remaining in the game, Marcos Rojo munched down a banana on the pitch. "But I know that one game, one win, three points can change everything for us". "I'm not a particularly good loser but to push Manchester United all the way gives me optimism for the future", he said.
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Mourinho said it was no surprise United was picking up injuries "due to an accumulation of fatigue". In better news Anthony Martial could make the squad after returning to training on Wednesday.
"This is a very hard draw", he said.
Mourinho is similarly convinced a goal would alter Marcus Rashford's horizon after a game in which the young England striker - who replaced the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic - showed off exemplary, and dazzling, movement only to be let down by sub-standard finishing. In the second half immediately he felt he couldn't carry on, so even a physical monster like him felt it. Paul is paying the price.
It was a sad end to what was a generally successful spell under Karanka, who came in having been the assistant under Mourinho at Real Madrid, and when asked if the victory was revenge for his friend Mourinho stated that it is the work he did on Teesside that will define him.
"But in Rostov when I was speaking with the (Uefa) delegate about the conditions of the stadium, he was telling me, 'If a player gets injured, no problem, because they have insurance'". United have an enormous possibility to be in the top four and claim a spot in the Champions League.
Middlesbrough immediately brought on Adama Traore and Rudy Gestede.