Jose Mourinho Q&A: Paul Pogba, transfer window, Manchester City documentary and more
Manchester United boss also discusses Premier League title rivals
Last Updated: 19/08/18 2:02pm
How many more signings did Jose Mourinho want in the summer? What's the truth behind his relationship with Paul Pogba? Who will be Manchester United's main rivals this season? And what did Mourinho make of the Manchester City documentary?
Ahead of United's clash with Brighton on Sky Sports on Sunday, we caught up with the United manager to discuss the season ahead and plenty more.
Here's what he had to say…
You made a winning start to the season, you spoke about team spirit after the match, why were you so pleased?
"We performed better than what we could expect. We had players on the pitch with three days training, coming from important injuries, coming from a difficult pre-season and we got together three days before the match and had to prepare for that and some players made a huge effort to do it for the team. Of course it was a good result and some very positive signs in the performance too."
Was it also difficult because you weren't able to bring in extra bodies to bolster the squad?
"We were speaking about one extra body, it's not like we were unhappy because we wanted six or seven more players and they didn't come. It was one player and when the transfer window came to an end, I put a cross on it and said immediately I don't want to talk about it or speak about what we did or could do. It's about what we have and what we did and trying to improve the team in the best way we can."
We have to ask about Paul Pogba and whether he would bring his great form from the World Cup to club level. He certainly brought his form into the opening game…
"Fantastic performance, fantastic team performance which is what obviously pleases me more and a special effort, because it would be so easy for him to say after three days training, 'I can't, I am tired'. But no, he said 'I'm there'."
We were speaking about one extra body, it's not like we were unhappy because we wanted six or seven more players and they didn't come. It was one player
Jose Mourinho on the summer transfer window
There has been so much speculation this week about Paul Pogba and your relationship with him. What can you tell us about that?
"I have never been so happy with as I am now. My job is players performing, playing for the team and playing for the fans and that's what Paul did against Leicester. I couldn't be happier and I have to say - I am not saying for me, I am saying for him - that it is totally untrue that we had a problem during the week."
Do you laugh about it?
"I don't laugh about it because I don't think it is nice. When people believe it then it affects the image of the player who is a polite, educated guy, who never creates any problems at the training ground to anyone. It affects his image if people believe in it and it affects my image if people think I have no control and don't have a good relationship with players. It affects the club because Paul and myself are the club."
What do you want from this season from Manchester United?
"Last season we put ourselves in a difficult position, which is to do better we can only finish first. When I read sometimes and watch sometimes it looks like we finished sixth or seventh and everybody did better than us. We finished second."
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Can you finish first?
"We are going to try, but it's a very difficult job in front of us because second was really hard and this season is going to be really hard for everyone to finish top four.
"Liverpool are trying to win the title with their amazing investment. When I say buying I mean... [makes virtual quotation marks gesture]... amazing investment. Chelsea has a fantastic squad, Manchester City has a fantastic squad too, Tottenham made an incredible investment by keeping their players, that's the best investment you can make. They could be spending £200m but if they lose Harry Kane or Christian Eriksen, the biggest investment was keeping all their best players. Arsenal will be better even though they lost their first match. I think it's going to be a very hard season."
What have you thought about the publicity surrounding the new Manchester City documentary?
"You can have a fantastic movie while respecting others. You don't need to be disrespectful to have a fantastic movie. You can be a rich club and buy the best players in the world but you cannot buy class and they showed that clearly, that was really obvious."
Watch Brighton v Manchester United live on Sky Sports from 3.30pm on Sunday