Tuesday, July 5, 2016 3:50 pm
Jose Mourinho says he will not simply settle for returning Manchester United to the Champions League – he wants to win it all at Old Trafford.
The former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss, according to a skysports.com report, admits he is “frustrated” not to be in Europe’s top club competition this season but expects United’s absence to last just one campaign.”
Speaking at his first news conference as United boss, the Portuguese says he will be aggressive with his targets from the outset and wants to make the fans proud of their team again.
Mourinho promises Rooney ‘will never be 50m from goal’
He said: “I was never very good at hiding behind words or philosophies. I was always much more aggressive in my approach, with the risks it can bring.
“It would be easy, honest and pragmatic for me to focus on the last three years, and the fact we didn’t qualify for the Champions League, and to say ‘let’s work, let’s try to be back in the top-four, let’s try to do well in the Europa League’.
“But I am not good at that, and I don’t want to be good. I prefer to be more aggressive and to be more aggressive is to say ‘we want to win’.
Mourinho says he understands the pressures of being United manager
“I want everything. I want to win matches, play well, play young players, score goals, not concede goals. I want the fans to be behind us not because we are chasing a result in the last 10 minutes but because we are defending a result.
“Of course we are not going to get everything, but we want to. I don’t hide that I am chasing Sir Alex Ferguson’s record of Champions League matches. Hopefully it is only one season that we are not there. And when I say ‘we’, obviously the club is more important than myself and Manchester United is a Champions League club.
“We have to make sure that in July 2017, instead of waiting for the Europa League play-offs and then the group draw, this club is where it has to be – the Champions League.”
Questions that emerged from Mourinho’s press conference
Mourinho, meanwhile, was sacked by Chelsea just six months after lifting the title that same year following a disastrous start to the campaign, but he insists he does not have a point to prove.
He said; “The last time I won a title was one year ago. If I have a lot to prove, imagine the others. The reality is that this was never important for me. I play against myself. That’s my feeling. That’s my nature.
“I am 53, not 63 or 73. Maybe you are tired of me because I started so early at the highest level. But I am a very young manager. If I have this approach of not trying to prove to myself, or to others, or going for big challenges, then I am in trouble.
“I could approach this job in a defensive point of view by saying ‘yes, the last three years the best we did was fourth, the best we did was the FA Cup’. I cannot go into that side.
“I don’t want the players to start the season by thinking ‘we have to do better’. What is to do better? To do better is to finish fourth. To finish fourth is not the aim.”
Van Gaal was dismissed with a year left on his contract having failed to reach the Champions League knockout stages or the top-four, but he being through a number of academy players successfully into the first team, including England’s Marcus Rashford.
Mourinho has been accused of failing to do the same at each of his top clubs but the Portuguese robustly insisted this is a lie that has been repeated so many times it is taken as truth.
“Do you know how many players I have brought through from the academy? 49,” he said. “And I can give you the names.
“I did it with two factors that are important. Sometimes you promote because you don’t have another choice. You have to bring academy players in because you have lots of injuries. The second factor is that, when you are not playing for big targets, it’s easier to bring them through outside of the pressure of the big moments.
“My record with injuries is very low, so I never promote because of need. I did it because of conviction and decision and 49 is a lot. Some of these players are big names. Some of them are Champions League winners. Some of them are at the Euros, for national teams.
“One lie repeated many times, sometimes it looks like it is true, but it is still a lie.”