Interviewer: What pleased you the most about this opening day victory?
Jose: Everything. The three points, the quality of our attacking football, the quality of our control, the quality of us defensively. Obviously, it is the Premier League – one mistake, you are punished immediately – so one mistake, one goal. But, the team was very compact by the defensive point of view, very confident playing. So, I think, against a very difficult opponent, 3 points, and I don’t think any doubt about.. that we deserved to win it.
Interviewer: How important do you think Juan Mata’s goal was just on the stroke of half-time?
Jose: I think we were finding during the first half the way to play against them, the way to find spaces, the way to find Rooney and Ibra, and play from there. We were finding that, but obviously, one goal changed the picture. Because, in the beginning of the second half, they tried to put more pressure on us, tried to open more spaces, and we scored 2, 3, and could be even more. So, opening goal is always important, doesn’t mean that you win the match, but I think it’s always important even by the psychological level – brings confidence up, and the team could play very well in the second half. I’m so sorry that, that mistake and that goal because we were playing so well and we could go for more goals, but then they score, and then, I have to change the shape to play for control, because in the Premier League, if they score and it is 3-2, you are going to have a nightmare in the last minutes! So, we have to go for control, but even then, that is a good experience. It is a good experience to keep control of the game.
Interviewer: Signs of a partnership building – Rooney and Ibrahimovic – partnerships take time building, but would you say there were good signs in that first game?
Jose: Good signs everywhere. I think Bailly and Daley, I think they played really well, the midfield players were an unbelievable complement for each other. I think, Fellaini, I had always the feeling that he was… not loved by the general “red” people. They have to love him, because if he plays like he’s playing now, they have to love him because he’s being so important for us. So, everybody is giving good competition and I’m really happy.
Interviewer: And you got the win, but I think there’s more to come. This is not the finished product, but you got the victory, so impressive start, you must be pleased with that after a tough pre-season.
Jose: I’m really happy. I was saying in the press conference before the match, 33 training sessions but not for everybody. 33 for the ones that were not in the Euro, because for the others, 8 training sessions, 9, 10, 12. So, with not big time, the evolution was really positive. But it’s just the start, we need to improve, we need to improve every day, every match. But, we won, which is the most important thing.
Interviewer: Thanks for that, Jose.