Jose Mourinho spoke exclusively to Mirror Sport after an afternoon at the giant Jaguar Land Rover plant in Solihull. Mourinho was there to celebrate the Jaguar F-PACE and the production of the 100,000th vehicle.
The F-PACE is the fastest-selling Jaguar ever and is the current World Car of the Year. During his visit, Jose announced as the 100,000th Jaguar F-PACE customer.
The Portuguese’s manager spoke about his future at Old Trafford and how he intend to keep United on the right track.
Mourinho also spoke about sustaining United’s long standing tradition of promoting the Club’s academy players. There has been a player from the club’s academy in every United match-day squad since October 1937.
ON ACADEMY PLAYERS
“I don’t want to be the one that breaks that and I think the next United manager – it doesn’t matter when he comes – should also try not to break it.
“It is more difficult now than it was before, but I think it is good. I feel it like a way to keep a certain identity of the club.
To keep that identity means, basically, we should bring a new player from the academy every season.
“You can bring someone to play 10 minutes, then the player disappears and then you can say, ‘Oh, 40 players have their debut with me’. But none of them are important.
“When I say ‘bring’, I mean (for them) to stay.
“I think what is happening with (Jesse) Lingard and (Marcus) Rashford is now happening with Scott McTominay… because he is not going to leave the club any more.
“To follow a certain pathway is important. I am doing it with McTominay. Mr Van Gaal had the start of Rashford, I am having it with Scott McTominay and, next year, there should be another.”
ON HIS FUTURE AT UNITED
“I signed a three-year contract and when I signed that three-year contract it was basically to try and improve the direction of the football team.”
“And obviously when we want to improve the direction of the football team, it means to try and win titles which we did already last season.
“But when we speak about titles, everyone obviously thinks about the Premier League.”
IS THE PREMIER LEAGUE YOUR PRIORITY?
“Of course it is an objective but to say the only way we are improving is to win the Premier League is not quite fair because the other teams, the other five or six teams, have the same objectives, the same responsibility, the same tools, they have the same qualities to do it, or even more because they have the stability over the past three years.”
WITH UNITED, CITY, SPURS, LIVERPOOL AND CHELSEA ALL LIKELY TO QUALIFY FOR THE KNOCKOUT PHASE OF THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, IS ENGLAND ABOUT TO DOMINATE IN EUROPE?
“No, I don’t think so. I don’t think so because I always say the Champions League only starts in February and in February, the English teams are after December and January where we can play 20 matches over two months and the Germans, the French, the Spanish, the Italians, they all come from a winter break.
“So I think they arrive in better conditions than the English teams.
“It’s also a fact that any match you play in this country, if you don’t go strong, you lose.
“We go to Bristol (City of the Championship next Wednesday) in the (EFL Cup) quarter-final and if you don’t go with a strong team, you lose. That’s as simple as that.
“In other other countries, between the top teams and the others, there is huge difference and not just in terms of talent and potential but also in terms of mentality.”
“Here, the smaller teams want to win, want to compete, want to have the courage to try and get a result.”