United suffered a shock EFL Cup defeat at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, suffering elimination at the hands of Frank Lampard’s Championship promotion contenders after a pulsating 2-2 draw.
Marouane Fellaini’s late header sent the third round tie to penalty kicks after Harry Wilson and Jack Marriott’s second-half strikes for the visitors had overcome Juan Mata’s early breakthrough.
Sergio Romero’s dismissal midway through the second half left United down to 10 men for the shoot-out and, after 15 faultless penalties, Jones, Bailly and substitute goalkeeper Lee Grant were United’s only remaining takers.
Jones ultimately failed to convert United’s eighth spot-kick, seeing his tame effort saved by Derby’s Scott Carson. Mourinho consoled Jones after the final whistle but spoke frankly in his television interview, admitting he feared the worst when his centre-half stepped up.
“We couldn’t be dominant in the second half and only after their equaliser we get a reaction, which I don’t like,” Mourinho told Sky Sports, while assessing his side’s all-round performance on the night.
“I prefer to be proactive and to go for it but we only go for it after the 1-1. After the red card we are in difficulty but even after that with one man less, it was a reaction of pride and a group that tried until the last second.
“Then the penalties come, somebody has to miss. When I saw going after the sixth and seventh, I knew we would be in trouble with Jones and Eric.”
Mourinho added that he would never hold a penalty miss against a player, but reiterated that he felt pessimistic once it became certain one of his central defenders would have to take a penalty.
“I never blame a player missing a penalty because we know clearly, because we train and because we knew if it went in the direction of Jones and Eric Bailly, we would be in trouble then,” he said.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies