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A, B, C not as easy as 1, 2, 3? Mourinho muddles alphabet metaphor

The Jackson Five once sang "A, B, C, easy as 1, 2, 3", but Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho may well disagree.

Admittedly not speaking his native tongue, Mourinho stumbled over his words – or letters, rather – when attempting to use a metaphor to praise his team's attitude after Sunday's 3-1 win over Middlesbrough.

The victory ended a week in which United played three times, suffering elimination from the FA Cup but progressing to the Europa League quarter-finals.

And Mourinho, having made sweeping changes to his starting XI, may have gotten carried away with an elaborate attempt to display his pleasure at the result, seemingly forgetting the order of the alphabet.

"[I enjoyed] the attitude, the desire and our way of thinking. We don't have A, B, C, D, E, F and G – but we have L, M, N... S, O, P," Mourinho told BT Sport, pausing in slight doubt mid-sentence.

It did not hamper his positive train of thought, though, as he continued: "These guys, they gave absolutely everything. We started the game well, [Middlesbrough's Victor] Valdes made three fantastic saves before our first goal.

"It's fantastic because in the same week we manage to go to the quarter-finals of the Europa League and we get these three points which keep us in the race for fourth position.

"We still have two doors open to play Champions League football next season, and that's the good thing of the week."