Mourinho's first press conference of 18/19
09/08/18 Reverse order Timestamp format
What sort of opportunity does it give you to make a statement when you play before all of your rivals on Friday?
JM: It's not an opportunity. Opportunity for what? It is an important match, we would prefer to a couple more days but the decision has been made to be the first to play and that is it. We are ready.
Who is unavailable?
JM: Romero - he had surgery before the World Cup, Valencia - he was injured in the pre-season, Marcos Rojo - he was injured in the World Cup, Dalot - he had surgery in Porto in April and is not yet ready, Ander Herrera - he was injured against Bayern Munich, Matic - was injured in the World Cup and had surgery a couple of weeks ago.
That's a lot of players. Will the players who returned late after the World Cup be able to fill the void?
JM: They returned on Monday and trained all week, so you can imagine that they are not really fit and ready. But we have needs. The list of the injured players is an important list. After training I will speak to that group to see how available they feel they are, because it is important to understand their feelings, and see if they can help or not help.
How confident are you of adding another one or two players before the transfer window closes?
JM: I'm not confident. The market closes today so it's time for me to stop thinking about the market. I will have to focus on the players I have. I have to think about the players that are available to me, so I'm not even thinking about the injured players. I focus on what we have and we go with everything we have in the first match.
So there will be no more ins or outs today?
JM: The information I have is no.
What is your mood ahead of the new season? You won two trophies in your first year, made strides last year to finish second. There is a perception that the club has gone backwards this summer and can't do even what they did last year. What is your view on that?
JM: First of all, it's difficult for me to believe that we finished second. When I listen and when I read, which I don't do a lot, but sometimes I do, it's difficult to believe that we finished second because you are capable of making people who finished second look like they've been relegated. And you're capable of making people who won nothing and finished below us look like serial winners. I also find it difficult to believe I won three Premier League titles and eight trophies. I think that finishing second last season was one of my biggest achievements in the game.
Are you going to change the tactics this season? And what is the priority, the Premier League or Champions League?
JM: The target is the Leicester match and the tactics will be changed? In Championship Manager you can just press a button, in football you need time to work and players on the pitch to work, which we didn't have until now. During pre-season it looked as though I was saying something out of order or crazy. Pre-season is difficult when you don't have your players.
You didn't mention Anthony Martial in the list of absentees. Is he available and what was the reason for him not going to Munich?
JM: He didn't have a pre-season. He had three days, he didn't have nine days. No training, no football, absolutely nothing. So Tony is in the group of players that didn't have a pre-season. You tried to make a case on it. There is no case on it. For nine days he didn't train, so it's like to start again. You have to go back. You have to start with the other players.
If there's no movement by 5pm, do you have the tools you need to compete?
JM: I have my players. I like my players. I like to work with my players. One lie repeated 1,000 times is still a lie. But the perception of the people is that it's true, but it's still a lie. So when you repeat 1,000 times that the relationship with my players is not good, it is a lie. But again the perception of the people that read is different. But I like my players. I like my group. I enjoyed the last season's fight to finish where we did and to manage the best position for the club for the last five years. I'm going to enjoy this season again. I know the words you want me to say. Words for me don't come easy. I think by the end of November or December you will see which teams are candidates to win the Premier League. In this moment, words are not important. Let's play football.
Can I clear up the Paul Pogba situation. There have been stories about Barcelona coming in for him and that he's not happy. What's your perception?
JM: He arrived on Monday, happy, proud, with desire to work. He worked amazingly well on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. He's one of the players I need to speak to to see how physically and mentally strong he feels. It's the same conversation that I'm going to have with Young, Fellaini, Lingard to know how they feel to try to give us the help. If they feel they can help us, if it's 20 minutes, 10 minutes, half an hour. We don't have many solutions and we want to go with everything we have. The way I see Paul is well, is very well, but we need the words with that small group to see if they can give us a hand. It's an important match tomorrow. Every point is important. We have to try the best with every player.
You've said the first few games before the international break will be hard, but now that a few players have come back early, and getting the other players back and seeing the condition they're in, do you feel a bit more confident or do you stand by what you said?
JM: If they play tomorrow, they play after four days, so that's why I'm saying it. One thing is what you can expect from players with another pre-season, and another thing is what you can expect from players with three or four days training. Of course I prefer to look to the bench and to have them, than to have 16-year-old boys without the experience and power to be a Premier League. So yes, I prefer to have them even if they are not top [condition]. I believe other managers in the same situation have the same feeling as what I have. At least on the bench, it's one more option.