Pre-Match Press Conference: Jose Mourinho (Bournemouth Away, 14th August, BPL)

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Interviewer: Jose, Good afternoon. Having recruited the players that you have done in this transfer window and with all the preparations in place, with the new season about to start, are you a big horse or a little horse?

Jose: We feel that we are a candidate to win the title. We know that not 1 or 2 or 3, more than that – have the same ambitions as us. But, we cannot speak differently. We want to fight for the title. In the end of the season, if we are not champions because somebody else was better than us – then great, that is football. But, in this moment, I think Man United Football Club – we cannot speak differently. We are going to fight for the title.

Interviewer: The FA have confirmed that Paul Pogba is suspended for this weekend’s game. Would he have been fit enough to play anyway, bearing in mind his extended summer holiday?

Jose: I don’t speak about him. He’s suspended, and I don’t speak about suspended players or injured players. I speak about the ones who are ready to play. So, I forget about Paul for a few days, and Tuesday – he will be ready to play against Southampton.

Interviewer: And are there any injuries?

Jose: No, we are fine.

Interviewer: Jose, were you aware when you signed Pogba that he wouldn’t be able to play this weekend? It caught us by surprise, at least.

Jose: I knew the situation with the yellow cards, but I didn’t know at that time if an accumulation of yellow cards would bring a player to suspension. I did not know if the suspension would be like in the Italian football – a suspension for the same competition, which is the corresponding competition in England, which would be the first match of the FA Cup. I didn’t know that. So, I was waiting for that.

Interviewer: When did you find out?

Jose: Two days ago.

Interviewer: And you mentioned at the start that there’s only one or two, three teams that think the same way as you. Do you think it’s as narrow as that? Because a lot of people might think…

Jose: No, no, no, no.Many more, they think the same way as us, but they are afraid to say. They prefer not to say, they prefer to play a defensive game in words. They prefer to say, or to hide, or to play with the words, and play defensively with the words. That’s not our way, I don’t think that’s Man United. I think Man United has to say – day one, we want to win the title. With all the respect for the others. Maybe we don’t win, maybe we don’t win. Maybe we arrive in the end of the season and we are happy that we finish top 4. Maybe, depends on the way the season goes. But, in this moment, and when I speak to you, I speak to my players as well, because I know that they will get the feedbacks from our conversation, so I cannot speak differently.

Interviewer: Jose, many Manchester United fans have been frustrated in the last couple of seasons. So, what can we expect from a Jose Mourinho side that’s going to change those frustrations?

Jose: Professionalism. That is for sure. We are not here to have fun. We are not here to enjoy the sunny weather. We are here to work, we are here to give everything for the club. And that’s the way. That – yes, that we promise. A part of that – football is football. You can’t promise things. You can promise that you want and you are going to do everything to try to achieve our goals, but promises – the only one is that every Man United fan around the world can make sure that inside of this training ground, everybody works hard everyday.

Interviewer: You have trimmed the squad a little bit. McNair, Love – they’ve gone on permanent deals. Januzaj has gone out on a season loan as well. Why do you feel that he didn’t fit into your plans, and how close are you now to finalizing that 23?

Jose: He fits into my plans. He fits in my plans. That’s why he’s on loan. And that’s why he’s on loan at a Premier League. If he doesn’t fit in my plans, we don’t care about him. We don’t care about where he’s going. We don’t care about which club, which competition, which manager. And we just send him to maybe Borussia Dortmund – where he didn’t play one match. So, yes we care about him because we think he’s a talented player. But to be in the same squad as Martial, Mkhitaryan, Mata, Ashley Young, Memphis Depay – to be in the same squad as them would mean not many matches. So, we cannot be selfish  – we have to think about the players. And to think about the players in this case, Adnan – is to give him all the conditions to develop. So, play, play well. We see him every week in this country – we can compare performances. He’s in the right place with a manager that likes him a lot. So, hopefully everything goes well from him, and that’s we want because we want him back.

Interviewer: And the fans as well, because you talk about being title candidates, and you’re putting that pressure on yourself. How’ve you found the fans when you meet them in the street, because expecations now have changed dramatically over the last just few months?

Jose: I don’t meet them in the street, because every time I put one foot outside, I have the same paparazzi chasing me all the time with the same picture everyday. The only thing that changes is the shirt. But it is always the same picture – crossing that bridge, coming from the restaurant, so I cannot put one foot out – I am caught immediately by the guys.

Interviewer: To ask you about Bournemouth – can you assess what challenge they’ll give? And also Eddie Howe, someone who is highly rated and was linked with the England job just a few weeks ago?

Jose: Stability. Same players, same manager – year after year. They come from the Championship together – they didn’t change the way that they play, or the way they try to play. They believe in some football, and they play that football. Of course, they have to try and they do that every season, to bring one, two, three, four players to improve the squad, but basically it’s the same idea of football. It’s an end product, it’s a good stable team. So for sure, a difficult match for us.

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