Here is the story behind the Man U loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup.
The Portuguese thanked his men for their efforts. Those who are going to the World Cup were told to enjoy it.
Those who were off to the beach and beyond were told to come back fresh for what promises to be an era-defining 2018-19.
The overriding feeling in the camp was of shock at the 1-0 defeat under the arch. It was not meant to be like this. Mourinho is a meticulous man who leaves nothing to chance. This is well known throughout football.
Sportsmail can disclose, however, that even by his standards the planning was raised by a couple of notches in the build-up to the clash with his former employers – and can also reveal what really happened with Romelu Lukaku.
It started early. All players were told that from the Monday before the match, May 14, their diaries had to be clear. That meant there were to be no commercial activities, either personal or club-related.
There was also to be no media. In short, there would be nothing to distract them from the task at hand. From Tuesday, it was all about Chelsea as the squad headed to Watford, for sessions at the Premier League club’s training ground and a morale-building mini-camp at the nearby, five–star Grove Hotel.
Players were given free time but there was one stipulation from Mourinho, who insisted that they broke bread together. They were also told that there was to be an 11pm curfew. It is commonplace, in the build-up to big matches, for players to arrange tickets for friends and family members.
On many occasions, they drop them into the ticket office in the final hours before the game. But not here. Mourinho told his men that any such issues had to be dealt with before they headed down to the Hilton Hotel, on the Friday.
Some players also enlist the services of a hairdresser to come to their rooms so they are looking at their best before they go before the cameras and their adoring public. This was permitted, on the proviso that any such visits had to take place before they arrived at the Hilton.
Nothing was left to chance. Which leads us to team selection, and what appears to have become two different versions of the same story.
Following the match, Mourinho told the press that Lukaku had declared himself unfit to start. However, earlier this week, the Belgium international said that while there was no rift, the decision to put him on the bench was his manager’s.
Lukaku had trained with the rest of the squad. He was in the starting XI which had been announced earlier in the week, and was expected to play.
However, on Thursday he went to see Mourinho to tell him that he could not start as he did not feel ready.
The manager asked him what he thought he could do and was told that the best he could hope for was to come off the bench for some minutes. While Mourinho may have picked the side, the decision over Lukaku’s input appears to have been taken out of his hands.
At half time, with Chelsea leading thanks to Eden Hazard’s penalty, there was no anger. Instead, Mourinho told his players that they would still go out and win the match. That it did not happen was not for want of planning.
A similar approach has been taken to what lies ahead. Mourinho knows that he has a huge year in front of him.
Officials are hopeful that they can conduct some of their transfer business early, with the first addition, Brazil midfielder Fred, likely to sign before the World Cup.
Work on targets, including the 25-year-old, has been ongoing for months. Successful or not as he prepares for another duel with his old rival across town, nothing will be left to chance.