Mourinho's press conference - 14/9/18
14/09/18 Reverse order Timestamp format
After international break we usually ask about injuries, but I think a lot of people saw you [fall] at Wembley and were wondering if you're ok?
JM: Yeh, I'm ok. All good.
No problems there?
More importantly, your players. I mean, clearly Luke Shaw, from a care point of view, is a difficult issue. What sort of state is he in and will he be available tomorrow against Watford?
JM: I don't know. We still have a training session. Contrary to some news and opinions, according to our doctor he will be free to play. The only situation we have to analyse is if we are going to play him when during the week he was not training.
What about any other players coming back. Any doubts there at all?
JM: Fellaini is a doubt. Ander Herrera is out. He had a little problem in his ankle in training during the week. Dalot and Marcos Rojo play tonight with the U-23s and if they play the 90 minutes like we expect, then it will be the end of their recovering process and we will consider them ready to be back next week.
Watford have had a 100% start to the season. What are you expecting from them this weekend?
JM: It's clear. Four matches, 12 points. We know that three of these matches were at home, so in relation to the 12 points, so maybe we can speak of a little advantage compared to those with two home and two away. But fantastic start. 12 points is great for them. Good victories at home. Strong performances. Congratulations to Javi [Gracia] and the players and the club overall because it's a very good start.
Marcus is obviously banned for this match and the coming domestic games, but what did you make of his performances over the international break?
JM: Speaking about Marcus I think I can expect that on Sunday I am going to be highly criticised for not playing playing him tomorrow because some of the boys are really obsessed with me. Some of them have a problem with compulsive lies. So I can expect that Sunday, they will wake up in the morning, and as always the first thing that comes to their minds is Jose Mourinho, so I can imagine that I will be criticised for Marcus not playing. But it is not my fault. He is suspended. So probably you should remind them that he cannot play.
Performances with England? Of course, I'm happy. He played well. He competed well. He scored. Especially in a period where he comes with some sadness after his suspension, it was very good that he did that.
If you don't mind to lose a couple of minutes with me, I'm going to do something not for you but for the United fans because I think I owe myself to the United fans.
In the 2016-17 season, Marcus Rashford played 32 Premier League matches, 11 Europa League matches including the final, three FA Cup matches and six League Cup matches including the final. And the Community Shield. He had 53 appearances. He played 3,068 minutes. To divide that by 90 minutes, he played 32 full matches.
In 2017-18, he played 35 matches in the Premier League, eight in the Champions League, five in the FA Cup including the final, three League Cup matches and the European Super Cup final. He played in 52 matches with 2,676 minutes. If you divide that by 90, it gives you 29.7 matches.
So, with me, in two seasons, he had 105 appearances, 5,744 minutes, 63.7 matches of 90 minutes including five finals. So the people that are speaking about his minutes, I think they are a bit confused. Marcus Rashford is not Dominic Solanke, he's not Ruben Loftus-Cheek, he's not Dominic Calvert-Lewin, he's Marcus Rashford, Manchester United player, with an incredible number of appearances and minutes played at the highest level in the best possible competitions. So, Manchester United supporters, for you and just for you, to know what we are doing with Marcus Rashford, with Luke Shaw, with Jesse Lingard, with Scott McTominay, that's what we are doing here.
Clearly from that someone's done some research, it clearly irritates you that there is a perception about you, that you don't play young players.
JM: It's not a perception. Some of the people, everyone knows that they have double salaries, they also work for the clubs, and when they work also for the clubs they are not independent. They conduct things in the direct they want to. That's obvious, it's human and it's natural. It's not tactical but I accept it. The ones that wake up in the morning and the first thing that comes in to their minds is Jose Mourinho and Manchester United, I feel sorry for them because there are much more interesting things to wake up and be happy about in the morning than to speak about us and football. But for Manchester United supporters I think it is important. They have the right idea about how things are in reality. The most important thing of all is that the kid is a good kid, he's a good player, he knows what Manchester United did for him. Starting in the academy, then Mr Van Gaal support, then my support and the club's support, and the new contract, and the new shirt, and being selected for every single match since I've been here. Marcus Rashford was selected for every single match. He was never out of selection because of my decision. He knows and that's the most important thing. But again, the media is very important and it is important that Manchester United supporters know the truth, so that is why I am very specific about his numbers.
What do you make of Fred's progress and what does he have to do at Manchester United to succeed in the long term?
JM: Fred's progress? I don't know because I haven't seen him for 15 days. The first time I'm going to see him after 15 days is now. 15 days he was gone. So I don't know about his progress.
You made the point that you feel there is an obsession about you. Who exactly are you talking about?
JM: The people that call me and ask me to fall at Wembley because they need news from me. So I did it on purpose so you could speak a little bit about myself (laughs).
Were you not worried that you would hurt yourself?
JM: No. It was a good dive. I protected my phone. No penalty. Maybe a yellow card.
On Marcus, does he need much talk from you? Has he always been on board with your plan for him?
JM: My plan is here [holds up paper with statistics on how much he has played]. There is no other plan. My plan is training well, training in a very specific way, training attacking players in a separate way for the specific things in their game, training collective way for a tactical point of view for the way the team plays, and the most important thing of the plan is this [holds up the paper again]. This is the plan. The plan is minutes.
What do you think his best position is? He thinks he can play as a no.10. Maybe out wide he doesn't get as many chances. What do you think his best position is?
JM: I think his position is in relation to the way his team plays. So in the national team, if they play with five in the back and two players in attack, that's his position. He cannot be a wing-back in a team of five. He cannot replace Luke Shaw or Trippier or Danny Rose. He must play centrally. But the way Manchester United play, with three attacking players, our three attacking players are not wingers, they're not wide, they're not open all the time, they have the freedom to come to play in between positions, and any one the three positions is a good position for him.
Another player of yours that is under a lot of focus is Paul Pogba. This week Gary Neville said that as a fan he would be happy to see him go if his mind is elsewhere. As his manager, how difficult is it for you knowing that Paul potentially wants to move elsewhere and that his mind isn't fully focussed on the club in hand? How difficult is it for you and what challenges does that present to you as a manager?
JM: Paul came back after the World Cup in the week before we started the Premier League, so we were together for about two months or so. He never told me that he wants to leave. Never. He never told me that he wants to leave. So I can only comment on what is real for me, not on what I read or listen to. I have no direct relation with the people that write. I have a direct relationship with the players. And he never told me that he wants to leave.
As far as you're concerned, do you think he wants to stay?
JM: If he hasn't told me he wants to leave, it's because he wants to stay.
His agent is clearly trying to engineer a move, so how difficult is that for you when the agent is working in the background? So Paul hasn't specifically said to you that he wants to go but when agents are working in the background, trying to make things happen...
JM: I don't know if that is true. I need the agent to tell me or to tell you in a way that I can say. For example, I read this week that Gareth Southgate supposedly said, but then I watched the footage and he didn't say at all what was written. So if I watch Mr Raiola say on the screen that he wants to leave and that he is organising a way for him to try and leave, then I will believe, but in this moment I am in the dark and the only thing that is clear to me is that the player, in all the days we've been together, has never told me that he wants to leave.
But he did say he would fined if he said what he really felt to journalists...
JM: But that was after Leicester.
He said this week that he was a Manchester United player "for the moment but let's wait and see what happens".
JM: You have to ask him.
But you're his manager. That's what he said on the record. You're saying he's not said anything directly but he's saying a lot in the media.
JM: That's his relationship with the media, not with me. I am not going to comment on that.
There are four players who are out of contract at the end of the season. Luke Shaw, Martial, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera. Do you hope they will stay? Do you think they will stay?
JM: I hope they will stay. We had a similar conversation about Marouane. I was saying I hope he stays and I believe he will stay. I say the same. I hope that they stay. Of course, I'm happy with the players. David is David, no need of more words. Luke's evolution makes us believe that he's going in the right direction and of course I want to keep him. And Juan and Ander, even if they're not playing, or if they're not starting, by their personality point of view, their character, by what they represent in the modern society of football, they are almost unique pieces that I also don't want to lose.