Pre-Match Press Conference: Jose Mourinho (Southampton at Home, 19th August, PL)

Jose Mourinho speaking to the press

Interviewer: Jose, a lot of opposition players have said in recent years that Old Trafford had lost its fear factor, and you come to Old Trafford with your superb home league record with your previous clubs. Can you bring that fear factor back?

Jose: Not me. Not me. The team, yes. And the fans too. And I think everything starts there. The relation between the team and the fans. If at Old Trafford, a couple of thousand away opponents can be more supportive and more noisy than 70-something thousand, then we are in trouble. And means that there is no connection between the team and the supporters. If there is connection, I think that factor of being really strong at home has to come back. But I think everything starts on that relation between the team and the fans – the way the team plays, the way the team behaves, the model of play – but that includes a lot – their mental approach. If the fans, they feel that connection, they want to also play, and if the fans play, no chance for opponent.

Interviewer: Jose, how’s Paul Pogba settled, and how ready is he? Will he start this weekend?

Jose: Look, we played with some players against Leicester with less training than Paul. We had guys coming back from the Euro and the holidays, one week of training, and they play against Leicester – not in the top of their game. Not ready for 90 minutes, but they play and they perform, and it was a good way for them to accelerate their process because in this moment, they are building a process of their form. Paul is training for more than a week, around 10/11 days. The adaptation is really easy because he’s a boy from here, he knows the club, he knows everybody. No need of time to adapt, need time to build his condition and build his understanding of the way the team plays or tries to play. So, I think, yes, he’s ready to play. 90 minutes, I don’t believe. Super performance, I don’t believe. But in conditions to accelerate his process of integration into the team, that’s for sure.

Interviewer: Jose, whereabouts do you see him playing? The way you’ve set up your side in the first two games, do you think he fits into that, or do you have to change the way you’ve been playing slightly?

Jose: Sometimes even without you noticing, we change details. So, if you are expecting us to change dramatically the system to fit the player, we are not going to do that. We are not going to play with 5 in the back because in Juventus, he was playing with 5 in the back, and he played there for many years in that system – we are not going  to do that. So, we are not going for dramatic changes. But there are details in the game where, yes, we have to change details. Against Leicester, played Michael Carrick, against Bournemouth, played Ander Herrera – they are different players, and because they are different players, we change the way they play. We change the way Fellaini plays, because Fellaini was the one playing with them. So, when we play with Schneiderlin or with Pogba or with the guys that we have, there are always going to be details that are going to be changed. But not the master lines of our model of play.

Interviewer: You mentioned on Sunday as well that Zlatan, you considered him being an important player for 2 years at Manchester United. When he originally signed, it was 1 year and an option. You don’t think that it’s even a doubt that he will be here in 2 years?

Jose: No. Because, I see him happy. I ask everyday because I know how important he is – the family guy that he is – I ask him everyday about his wife, kids, integration, house, everything is fine. Everybody’s happy. His motivation is really high, so yes, I see him here – no doubts for the next two years, no doubt.

Interviewer: Jose, Eric Bailly seems very happy as well. The fans have taken to him. Are you surprised with the speed with which he has adapted, and the way in which he has performed?

Jose: I am surprised with such a strong personality, you know. Young boy, playing in a completely different competition, in a club without the same ambitions, expectation, pressure as Man United. Comes here, the first match, Wembley, first match of the season, away – comfortable, stable, leading, communication. Doesn’t speak good English, but lots of people around him, they speak French and Spanish. So, he’s even comfortable on communication. David is Spanish, Valencia speaks Spanish, Herrera speaks Spanish, Zlatan speaks French, so very comfortable at the communication level. So yes, surprised me a little bit, surprised me a little bit.

Interviewer: Jose, obviously, Southampton have come into this as well with the link with Jose Fonte. If you were in this, how would you feel ahead of a big game – one of your players linked with the opposition?

Jose: I don’t comment, I don’t care. I don’t care.

Interviewer: Are you still looking to do business before the end of this transfer window?

Jose: The market is open till the 31st of August, but I keep saying that I am very happy with the players I have and I keep saying that I don’t speak about players from other clubs.


Post-Match Press Conference: Jose Mourinho (1-3 win vs Bournemouth, A, PL)

Jose speaking at the Press Conference after 1-3 win against Bournemouth away

Interviewer: Jose, how satisfying was that? It seemed to have everything that you would want on your first day back.

Jose: I’m really happy. I think it was a very good week of work for us. It start with a very good feeling of winning the Community Shield for us, but the week was very good, we prepared the game really well. So, we knew first 15-20 minutes would be like this – with them playing at high intensity, pressing a lot in the middle of the pitch, so we had to control. After that, we started finding our places to play and in the second half, it was a very complete performance because the first goal gave us the confidence, we were looking for more. We were playing very fluent, and very objective, and the attacking players were all in the game. But then, one mistake, one goal, and then we have to go to control. Because, it’s dangerous, the Premier League is dangerous, so 3-1 control, but even so, it is a good experience for the team, because you win most matches by 1 goal difference, max 2, and you have to know how to control the game, and we did that very well too, so I think the performance was good. Based on the good collective performance also come some very good individual performances.So, I think we deserved to win and I’m happy.

Interviewer: Did you make a statement there, Jose? Opening round of the Premier League, big win, is that a statement… ?

Jose: I don’t think they need a statement. I think everybody knows that we are going to fight for the title. Win it or not win it – it is a different story. But everybody knows that we are going to. We don’t hide in our words, we don’t hide in our approach, so we are going to fight until it is possible. If one day, it is not mathematically possible, then we think about Top 4, which will be one step ahead in relation to the past seasons, and would be fine. But, we want more than fine, and we want to fight for the title, so let’s see what happens.

Interviewer: But you know how important it is to start the season well. Obviously, when you’ve won titles before, you’ve always led from the front…

Jose: Yeah, but I start bad and I won the treble. You know, I start bad with Inter – one draw at home, and then we won everything. In Porto, happened the same – we draw at home and then we win the treble too, so you never know. But, the reality is that win the Community Shield – it is not because of the shield, it is because of the feeling of a victory – brings some happiness, some confidence. Then one match away, another victory, so I think the first match at home, which is always a match where people think that some pressure. I think that on Friday, we go with a good feeling and I think Old Trafford will be waiting for our guys.

Interviewer: Zlatan Ibrahimovic – everybody has an image of him. Just what has he brought to your dressing room, and just how much of a pivotal signing may he become?

Jose: Look, the first thing I can tell you is that his table for breakfast, and his table for meals is surrounded by the young ones. He is surrounded by the kids – Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford – these are the guys that are with him in the table, so he knows what he can be for them. But for the team, you have to forget the passport, you have to forget the 34 years old, because the body and the mentality is not of a 34 year old guy, so I think he’s in the top of his qualities.

Interviewer: Is Eric Bailly turning out to be the kind of defender you had in mind when you went fetching in the market?

Jose: When we buy someone like him, we always have the question mark which is the way his personality adapts to a complete different situation than before.Playing in Spain is different than in England. Playing with Villareal is different than with Man U. Play to finish 4, 5 or 6 in the table is different than playing to try to win it – but he’s showing big personality which is incredible and, he was injured against Leicester. He told nothing, he played the 90 minutes. The next day he can’t train, and he trained with the team yesterday for the first time. He was all week not training and with a problem. Hopefully, we were lucky because he did an amazing work with one physio and one of my fitness coaches.And he was able for another performance. But, I think to be surrounded by organization makes life easier. And the team was very solid, very compact – he was surrounded by Valencia on his right, Blind on his left, Marouane and Herrera in front of him, so we create a habitat of stability, but the reality is that he’s showing great qualities.

Interviewer: Jose, with respect to the game tonight, did you worry at all? Did you sleep all right? Were there any nerves at all?

Jose: In the hotel, was a boxing fight on the second floor. I tried to go, but no chance, too many people and the people were too happy, so I didn’t have the chance to go. But to be honest, before the match, a little bit.. yeah. And for somebody with so many years of football, to have that feeling is normal. I think it’s normal, I never forget that one day, I come with Real Madrid to Old Trafford, and before the game, I was asking Sir Alex, are you still nervous? Yes. So, I understood. Never change. Experience helps in many things, but you have always a little feeling, which is good.

Interviewer: Jose, for the first two goals, you were a bit subdued. But for the third goal, you let yourself go a bit. Can you explain why that was so?

Jose: I thought the third goal was the end of the game. But wasn’t – one mistake, one goal, game open again. This is the Premier League – you make mistakes, you are punished by quality. Every team quality – you make one mistake, you don’t press the ball, you don’t defend inside, you are in trouble. So, I thought – 3-0, game over, not over.

Interviewer: But what about the quality of the goal – beautiful strike?

Jose: Yeah, beautiful strike. The strike is beautiful, but also the movement is good, and I think Anthony is coming step by step, but he helped. Some glimpses of what he can do too. And when you look to the players that were not on the pitch – Lingard, Rashford, Mkhitaryan, Memphis Depay, Ashley Young – we have a lot. We have a lot, so when September arrives, and Capital Cup arrives, Europa League arrive, we have the people to play, and to try to be competitive in every competition.

Post-Match MUTV Interview: Jose Mourinho (1-3 win vs Bournemouth, A, PL)

Jose speaks to MUTV after the splendid 1-3 win against Bournemouth away

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.

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.

Jose Speaks to MUTV about Paul Pogba


Interviewer: Jose, how d’you feel? You’ve got your man, you’ve got another one in here.

Jose: I think the club was fantastic, and I couldn’t be happier with the way we did our market because we got our players that we really believe, and we thought about the profile, the tactical profile, the physical profile, the personality, and to get them all before the start of the Premier League… When the transfer window closes, only on that, at the end of the month, it’s almost normal, becomes almost a tradition – that people delays and delays and delays. We did it before the 14th of August, which I think is a tremendous work by my board.

Interviewer: And you’ve clearly got in Paul Pogba a player who is incredibly talented, but also very hungry to succeed, and very pleased to be back here.

Jose: You know, I can feel immediately when I speak with him for the first time. I am feeling now when I am seeing him at the training ground with people that he knows since he was a kid – doesn’t look like a star. It looks like a kid that is back to his old school, and is finding people that he cares about, and people that love him a lot. So, I believe that after a couple of days, he will feel like he never left the club. So, I think adaptation level, he’s not a new player – he’s just a kid back home again.

Interviewer: And what are his best qualities? What do you most like about Paul as a player?

Jose: I like everything. I know the discussion, I understand the discussion. I understand that sometimes in football, these things happen and the club breaks the record. But, this is only possible in clubs like Man United. When I heard some of the comments and when I heard some managers criticizing that, I don’t think they will ever have this problem – because to have this problem, you need to be in one of the top clubs in the world. So, at Man United, it can happen. But, very young player. An unbelievable midfield player with such physicality but at the same time, such agility, coordination, skill. He has everything. I think what he has to learn now is how to play with us. Because I always say that in football, you can be super player – like he is – but a team is a team, and you need to learn how to play with the team, and the team needs to learn how to play with you. And we need to get the best out of him, and this will be a process. So, if he needs protection, I’m here to protect. I know that some people think he arrives now – and, first time he touches the ball, he scores (laughs), but I’m here to protect him and give him the best conditions for him to be what we think he is going to be – a super player for Man United, a reference for this club, and I am so happy with that.

Interviewer: And you picked out four players, four profiles, as you said at the start of pre-season. You’ve got four players in now. Are you happy with your options here at United now in the squad?

Jose: I’m really happy. It’s the first time I’m working with such a number of players. Because I used to work with 20 plus the keepers. And, we have in the squad 23 plus the keepers. And even so, we had to make decisions and let some players go on loan and try to sell others. But this group of 23 is a great group, I think, in this moment. And I told them that this is a moment of a little bit of frustration for the ones that are not selected. They work hard to be, and the match arrives, and they aren’t. And this is going to happen for the next 2-3 weeks because we have just one Premier League match. But September – starts Capital Cup, starts Europa League, starts playing three matches a week – and then everybody is involved, the squad is good. The empathy between the guys is good too, so I’m really happy with the squad, I feel.

Paul Pogba’s First Interview, now back as a Manchester United Player!

#Pogback #ReUnited

Interviewer: Paul, welcome back to Manchester United. How do you sum up your emotions right now?
There’s no words, to be honest, there’s no words. I just came back to Carrington. It was like I’d just come back home. I just went for a holiday, looks like I went for a holiday. I’ve come back home, I’m happy and I see everyone, the same persons. It’s just a great feeling, to be honest.

Interviewer: I suppose it’s a funny question after what you’ve just said but why are you back here at United? What made you come back?
I think it’s destiny, I would say it’s destiny. First my mum told me I would come back here and I told her, ‘You never know, you’ll see.’ For myself as well it’s a big challenge too, just to come back to where I came from, where I grew up, where I started. I didn’t finish what I started here so I think I came here to finish it.

Interviewer: And of course, you have to listen to your mum…
My mum, she says ‘Your mum’s always right.’ So she was right this time, so it’s good.

Interviewer: And how does it feel to be the world’s most expensive footballer? That’s quite an achievement with all that you’ve already achieved on the pitch…
The thing with me is I only think about the pitch. I want to do great, I want to be one of the best, I want to win titles, I want to achieve things and that’s all; that’s why I came here, just to do this, to become one of the best and to win titles because I know this club has to win titles. This club is created to win titles, to win things, to win big things. I just focus on this and that’s it. I’m just ready to go and work on that and just kill it. (smiles)

Interviewer: Has it been a mad summer for you, playing in the Euros at home for France and then being linked with different clubs?
Yeah. Was there a bit of sadness? Of course, because we lost the final at home. But I will say I’m happy. It was a bad thing for a good thing so I’m happy now. I’m back home and it’s something crazy, it’s really crazy, I cannot explain. I’m very, very happy, the feeling I have in my body. I can’t wait to start.

Interviewer: What’s it like being Paul Pogba now, compared to when you were here at 18 or 19, in this indoor arena at the Academy?
Well, I was younger. Now I’m taller and bigger (laughs). It’s just like… as I told you… it looks like I went for a holiday and I came back home. I was meant to come back here. I feel this. I always had this United thing in my heart and that’s why I came back. I’m happy, just happy.

Interviewer: How have you changed as a player since you were here at United the first time around? What have you learned about your game, about yourself? How are you different?
I’m more experienced, I’ve won titles at Juventus. I’ve been playing with big players like when I started at Man United, of course. I came back. I’ve not come back from the Academy now; I went to play somewhere else and I came back, I would say, as a person, as an adult. I would say with experience, with more games, so I think that’s the difference.