"I think the happiness, the confidence, the self-esteem was what pushed him to play the first match nearly without training against Leicester and played a very good match". Asked whether this was down to the Lindelöf-Smalling partnership, Mourinho said: "No, I think the team as a team is resolving the defensive problems better than before".
The 3-0 loss to Spurs at Old Trafford represented the heaviest home defeat of Mourinho's career - a setback that ratcheted up scrutiny and pressure, but one they responded to with a run of three successive away wins in all competitions.
United have recovered from back-to-back defeats against Brighton and Tottenham to win their last three matches in all competitions, but Mourinho insists he still faces one of the most hard campaigns of his managerial career.
"Big stability in the team, the young ones are young boys with good potential and you can see the work of the coaching staff and the team is a really really good team". That is hard enough, he doesn't need to face more difficulty.
"I am optimistic, but a hard season, yes", he said. The spirit, the cooperation, the empathy and communication have all improved in the team.
"Sanchez plays because Martial played 90 minutes [against Young Boys] and Sanchez played zero", Mourinho explained on Friday.
Pressed on whether the 29-year-old needed to raise his game.More news: Storm-weary face more floods
Dalot is set to play against Derby in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
The former Arsenal star has scored just three times since his January move to Old Trafford and is yet to open his account for the season.
"At this moment, Marcos Rojo is not training with the team, but Herrera is in the final phase of his recovery".
"And bad results and bad performances, they make you look more exhausted, more upset, more ugly, more everything".
"A team that yesterday looked very bad, today looks very good and yesterday looked very good, today looks very bad".
"Every player has another level to step up".
"It's more about the moment and the momentum is very important in the positive and negative way".