Mourinho's press conference - 31/8/18
31/08/18 Reverse order Timestamp format
The reception that the United fans gave you at the end of the Spurs defeat must have been quite important to you. The Spurs fans said that you're no longer the special one, that you've lost the magic that you used to have. Is there some truth in that?
JM: They didn't have that song when we beat them at Wembley a couple of months ago, a cup final that they had a big dream to go, a title they had a big dream to win, because they don't win many. So that night at Wembley the United fans were singing the special one and they [the Spurs fans] weren't singing that.
You looked like you were in a fighting mood on Monday night. The fans liked that. Do you still feel like you are in a fighting mood?
JM: Fighting? No. Playing football.
There was a lot of passion in what you said in the press conference on Monday night. There was an awful lot of passion from you.
JM: Not from me, from the team. I don't play, the team played and the team showed everything, but goals. We didn't score goals. We made a couple of mistakes and we were punished by them. But the players showed passion and I think the reaction of the fans was not for me, but for the players, for the team. It was for us, as a team. But the fans were behind the team since the first minute because the team was playing magnificently. So it was a reaction to say, OK, we lost and the defeat means always zero points, even if you play well, but the way the team played and fought, I think the fans decided to have that reaction. In relation to me, I know the majority of the stadiums are used to the winning manager, to jump around and to go to the crowd, and to show his face and put his face in the front of the camera. With me, that is not happening. Normally when I win I'm the first one to leave. But a defeat at home, that's the way I am. I had to go to the pitch and see the reaction. And the reaction could be both ways. But I felt really humbled and the team felt really supported, and probably because of that this week wasn't a difficult week at all. It was a week where people were positive and where we are convinced we deserved much more than what we got on Monday. We know we have a difficult match this weekend but we are positive.
You were at Turf Moor to watch Burnley last night. Do you think they were unlucky to go out? And how impressed are you with the work that Sean Dyche is doing?
JM: I went there and I knew that probably they would rest a lot of the players that are going on Sunday, which happened, so I wasn't surprised by that. I went to see which direction they go, if Sean is trying to change something or sticks with the same principles that made them successful in the last couple of seasons. Yes, I think they were very unlucky. I think if they scored they would have won the tie.
You're the manager of one of the greatest football clubs in the world and there will be ups and downs. But in your own words can you describe the love that you have for Manchester United and what it means for you to be the manager?
JM: I am the manager of one of the greatest clubs in the world but I'm also one of the greatest managers in the world.
It's been a big week for Luke Shaw, back in the England, and also for Anthony Martial with a new deal. Can you give us your reaction to both those bits of news?
JM: With Anthony Martial, we have to wait for that to be official. In this moment it is not official. In relation to Luke Shaw, it's a big week for him that hangs with a very important match against Burnley, that's the most important thing. He has played three very good matches and it's not easy to play three very good matches when your team loses two of them. But he had that balance, that consistency, that even when the team didn't win, and especially against Brighton when the team didn't play well, he kept that consistency. That is very important. If next week his manager decides to give him minutes against Spain or Switzerland, that would obviously be very good for him. I think he feeling in this moment that the good results of the hard work and many people that worked with him at different levels that tried to make him a proper football player. For me, a proper football player is a player of consistency. He's physically and mentally stronger, he has a better tactical understanding of the game. We are very happy with him and I think to go to the national team after three Premier League matches is, for him, an extraordinary feeling.
If you don't win a Premier League title with Manchester United, will you still be one of the greatest managers in the world?
JM: Of course. Did you read any philosopher? Did you read any Hegel? Just for an example, Hegel said the truth is in the whole. It's always in the whole that you find the truth.
There isn't any argument that you've been one of the greatest manager, but would you still be a great manager if you don't win the league here?
JM: Do you ask that question to the manager that finished third in the Premier League last season? To the manager that finished fourth? That finished fifth.
I've asked Jurgen Klopp if he needs to win the title to be a good manager.
JM: Because he never win anything in international football, for example.
But he hasn't told me that he thinks he's one of the greatest managers...
JM: That's his problem. I tell you what I think. I tell you what I feel. Jurgen tells you what he wants.
I'm just asking you a question.
JM: And I'm answering the question.
You've had great success in your career, but you've also had adversity too...
JM: I had great success last season. That's what you probably don't want to admit, and you do what you want, and I do what I want. I analyse my performance for myself. And for me, it's more important what I think than what you think. I repeat that two seasons ago we had a fantastic season by winning the Europa League. Everyone thought Atletico were amazing because they won the Europa League after being knocked out of the Champions League. We won the Europa League because that was our level. We're the last English team to win a European competition. I repeat, I won eight titles, I'm the only manager in the world who won in Italy, Spain and England, and by winning eight titles, not small titles, not small countries, eight proper titles, my second position last season was one of my greatest achievements in football. I think it and I say it. You disagree. You have the right to disagree, it's no problem for me.
The last time we saw you you said David de Gea was close to signing a contract extension. Is there any update on that?
Or any of the other guys?
JM: No, I don't belong to the process of discussing deals with the players and negotiations with agents. I never did that. It's something that I don't like to do. I would be a bad negotiator. I would give everything to the players, so I don't belong to that. I just know that everything is in movement and hopefully sooner rather than later we will have good news.
The football you played, particularly in the first half on Monday night, was aggressive, it was positive, you pressed hard. The crowd responded. You probably should have been at least a goal or two up. Is that a template for how you want Manchester United to keep playing? Can you do that away from home as well as at home?
JM: We try. We are going to try. It's a process that has risks, especially if you make the defensive mistakes that breaks that dynamic. The teams that are really good offensively are the teams that are very solid from the back. Other teams that make the offensive mentality be ultra confident. In this match we were really positive and strong. I think the opponent felt that. They felt they were in trouble. But two defensive mistakes in five minutes lost the game for us.
Do you think you have the players to play the way City or Liverpool do? Very much on the front foot from the beginning in a way that often swamps teams. Have you got the players to play that way?
JM: They play the way they play and we play the way we play. I don't want to try anything in relation to that. They are what they are and we are what we are.
There was such excitement when Alexis Sanchez came in January. Why hasn't it happened for him yet and are you worried that he won't turn it around here? Or do you think we are going to see a different Alexis from now on?
JM: I hope so. I hope we can see. He had a good pre-season. He had a good start to the season in the pre-season. It was a difficult pre-season for the team but for him it was a good one. Then he had a small injury that kept him out. And then he came just one day before Tottenham. He came on at 2-0. So let's see from now. He's not going to the national team for these two friendlies in Japan and South Korea, which is good news for us, because after that we play Watford and Champions League. He's committed, he's focussed, he works hard. I believe he will improve.
Was that his choice not to go? Or did you ask him?
JM: No, I didn't ask. I never ask players not to go. I never contact national teams for the players not to go. It's a personal thing between him and the national manager. At the same time, coming from injury, he feels that for him it's a much needed two weeks. He feels that after Burnley he needs two weeks to put himself in good shape. Because they are friendly matches in Asia, he made the decision for his good, and by consequence, our good for him not to go.
You've repeated again what you said about finishing second last year and what an achievement it was. Given that you only added one senior play to your squad this year, is it going to be even more difficult to finish in that top one, two, three, four?
JM: I said that in the summer before the competition started.
What I mean is that especially now, after two defeats...
JM: No, it's not especially now. The two defeats are two feats. We have thirty something matches to play. It's not because we lost six points that it's going to change. I knew that it was going to be difficult because last season was very, very difficult.
When you were at Chelsea, for example, when you won the title, you always got off to lightening quick starts. Chelsea would always leave everybody behind and the others would find it very difficult to catch up. Obviously you'd have to win it a different way this time.
JM: Last season we had a fantastic start. We had 12 points from four matches. We scored lots of goals in these four matches and then we lost a couple of matches. So, maybe this time we started with two defeats, so who knows that if now we have a good run that gives us consecutive victories and consecutive points.
What is a realistic target for this season?
JM: Win on Sunday.
That's the next target. Looking at the whole season?
JM: Win against Watford.
JM: Yeh. That's the target. We have matches to play every week and the target is always to win. As I was saying before, we are going to have Champions League. We have probably the biggest candidate, because they were always a big candidate and with the investment they made they transformed themselves. They don't hide that the investment they made was to win it. But even against that biggest candidate, that big team, we are going to try to win.
And Cristiano coming back as well...
JM: I think he likes to come back. When he came back with Real Madrid he was happy to come back. But he comes to do a job for them, like he did for Real Madrid, but I think he's very happy to come.
Still a top player?
JM: Of course... unless you tell, because he doesn't score goals in two weeks, you tell that he is not a good player anymore.