Mourinho's press conference - 6/11/18
06/11/18 Reverse order Timestamp format
Romelu Lukaku hasn't travelled. Is that because of his injury? And will he be fit to play in the derby on Sunday?
JM: Injured for tomorrow and we don't know for Sunday.
In the first leg, at the end of the match you showed three fingers to the Juventus fans. Will you do that again if you get insulted by the supporters or do you regret what you did last time?
JM: It was a very fair match. In terms of discipline it was exceptional. It was really fair play. But good manners before and after the match is what I require. Juventus played their part and we played our part as well. So that's it. No excuses or justifications. The supporters in the end behaved in such a way that wasn't appropriate. It wasn't nice. So that's why I reacted with the three fingers. But there are no other reasons for that. I have a very good relationship with the club and with Max Allegri, we are very good friends. I don't have any bad memories of my time in Italy.
There's a growing storm about Manchester City allegedly breaking these FFP rules. Do you have any thoughts on that?
JM: The storm is outside, it's raining a lot. We feel at home.
Do you have any thoughts on Manchester City allegedly breaking these FFP rules?
JM: I have thoughts from a few years ago but I keep the thoughts to myself.
How important is it to get a positive result tomorrow? And do you feel as though you've ironed out the issues with slow starts in recent matches?
JM: No. We work every day to try. But the reality is that normally we don't start matches well. But if we don't start well and it ends well, that's fine. It's even good fun for the fans. But football is 90 minutes and, especially when your opponent is strong, if you give 45 minutes advantage, or even 20, or even 10, that means you have a mountain to climb.
The good thing is that lately, apart from the Juventus match, we were strong enough to climb the mountain and to change the results in the second halves and last minutes. But if we are speaking about tomorrow's match, when you play against a super team, if you give an advantage it's very difficult to climb the mountain.
You said at the weekend about the changes you're trying to make for United to be more attacking this season compared to the last season. Is the reason for that because you want to give the fans what they've been calling for? Or because you don't think it's possible to win titles playing in a defensive manner?
JM: Oh yes, it is possible. You have many examples of teams that have done that. Many, many examples. I just think that it is the way to develop the team in a certain direction that we want to try to go. I recognise that in many matches we are showing that our defensive... I don't say our defensive organisation, because we work a lot on that. And I am pretty sure that you are not going to say that I cannot organise my teams from a defensive point of view, because you say exactly the opposite. But the reality is we concede too many goals and the way we concede them shows we have our weaknesses. Weaknesses sometimes you can hide, sometimes you can't. But again, I think it's a big match to play tomorrow, against super favourites to win the competition, and I think in this press conference we are speaking less about the game and more generalities.
You mentioned big games. You've got a big game tomorrow and a huge game on Sunday. Do you see this as a potentially defining moment in the season, in terms of whether if you could get two positive results that would set a tone and be a turning point for you and the team?
JM: No, not at all. Tomorrow is a big match and is big enough for us to not think about what is next. It's not a crucial match for us. I think independent of the result, our next matches against Young Boys and Valencia are the ones that are going to define the qualification position, of second or to go to Europa League. So I think tomorrow is of course a match we want to win, we want to compete, of course it's not a match that is lost. We have to play and we want to play. And we want that very, very much. I think the best experience for teams is when you play teams at the top, and we have that opportunity tomorrow. But in terms of the Champions League, it doesn't matter. Even if Valencia wins and we lose, and we go one point behind them, there are two more matches to play and we can still qualify. So we are going to fight for qualification until the last match. This is such a big match that I don't even want to think about what's next. OK, it's Man City, but it could be Crystal Palace or whoever. It doesn't matter. We just focus on tomorrow.
United against Juventus would be a more regular fixture if there was a European Super League. Is that something you would be in favour of?
JM: I am not interested in that.
I would like to ask you about your relationship with Pogba. In English newspapers we often read that you don't have such a good relationship with him. What are your thoughts on that? And what about the future of Pogba?
JM: One thing is what the press says and another thing is what Paul says. And of course another thing is what I say. What I think about it is, well, the press says we have a terrible relationship. Paul some weeks or months ago said we had a typical coach and player relationship. I think we have a good relationship between a manager and a player. Sometimes that relationship could be not that good, but in this case, I would classify it as a good relationship between a coach and player.
Mourinho stands to leave.
JM: Nobody wants to know about the team, right?