The Sun is reporting that left-back Luke Shaw and a number of senior players were surprised to hear Mourinho publicly berate the team in the wake of Sunday's 3-1 defeat to the Hornets at Vicarage Road.
It is understood that the playing group feel Mourinho should have used his negative words behind closed doors rather than air them to the press, just like Sir Alex Ferguson would have done.
A United source told SunSport: "The mystique about Mourinho has gone — it just feels like another manager passing through.
"Fergie would never go public. He always kept it in-house."