Jose Mourinho claimed Manchester United will need to spend more money after watching his side fight back from 2-0 down against Burnley.
The club dropped another two points in their faltering title challenge and could fall 15 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City if their rivals win at Newcastle on Wednesday.
It might even have been worse for Mourinho’s men at Old Trafford had Jesse Lingard not come off the bench to score twice, including a stoppage-time equaliser, after the visitors had opened up a 2-0 lead.
Responding to a question that such a gap might be unacceptable for a club of United’s stature, Mourinho said in his press conference: “One thing is a big club and another thing is a big football team. They are two different things.
“We are in the second year of trying to rebuild a football team that is not one of the best teams in the world.
“Manchester City buy full-backs for the price of strikers. When you speak about big football clubs, you are speaking about the history of the club.”
When it was pointed out United have spent heavily – roughly £286million – since Mourinho took charge in 2016, the Portuguese said: “OK, [but] it is not enough. The price for the big clubs is different than for the other clubs.
“The big historical clubs, they are normally punished in the market because of their history.”
Mourinho was then asked if he intended to spend big in the January transfer window but left the room before answering.
Prior to that he bemoaned his side’s defending. United conceded within three minutes to Ashley Barnes after failing to clear a free-kick into the box.
Having been unhappy with the goals conceded in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Leicester, he said such defending should be described with a word beginning with S. He left the actual word to the imagination of those present.
But after admitting Steven Defour’s goal, which gave Burnley a 2-0 lead, was an “amazing free-kick”, Mourinho hailed the character of his players for recovering.
“The boys do what they can. They are trying hard with the problems we have, with the injuries we have,” he said.
“I am not happy with the result, I was not happy with the result against Leicester, but I am happy with my players. No critics to my players.”