Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has warned that results such as last weekend’s defeat by Huddersfield Town could “happen again” this season.
United’s unbeaten domestic start ended with the 2-1 defeat, which left them five points adrift of Manchester City.
And while Mourinho insisted the vapid display was an “isolated case”, he said he expects similar surprise defeats.
“You cannot play well all the time, you cannot win all the time, you cannot even be lucky all the time,” he said.
“So to lose again I think it is going to happen. But in terms of the attitude that we didn’t like and knowing the players and knowing how good people they are, yes, I believe that was an isolated case.”
Mourinho described United’s attitude against Huddersfield as “worse than a friendly match”.
His side had kept seven clean sheets in their previous eight league games, but mistakes from Juan Mata and Victor Lindelof were punished with goals by Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre.
United responded to the defeat with a 2-0 Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Swansea in midweek and welcome Tottenham to Old Trafford in Saturday’s early kick-off (12:30 BST).
Spurs will be without injured top scorer Harry Kane, but Mourinho refused to entertain questions about the England international’s absence, instead choosing to highlight his own injury concerns.
United with again be without forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (knee), midfielders Paul Pogba (hamstring) and Michael Carrick (calf), and defender Marcos Rojo (knee).
“I don’t speak about injured players,” he said. “So don’t ask me about Harry Kane, because to speak about Harry Kane I have to speak about Ibrahimovic, about Pogba, about Rojo, about Carrick so I don’t speak. Next question.”