Jose Mourinho has spoken exclusively to Stewart Gardner, ahead of Manchester United’s Premier League trip to West Ham United.
The manager reiterated his stance from the preceding press conference by not discussing Sir Alex Ferguson, preferring to respect the family's wish for privacy.
Instead, he spoke in detail about securing second place, his plans to name a strong XI, former Internazionale player Marko Arnautovic and Ashley Young’s improvement…
First of all, are you looking for a response from your side after the defeat against Brighton?
Yes. We need a point to finish second, we need a point to say that only one team was better than us, we need a point to say that 18 teams were not as good as us. We need a point to prove that.
A point is required and West Ham are safe from relegation as well, so what kind of game are you expecting?
I expect a team that is on a high, a team that is celebrating their survival, a team that is going to enjoy the game at home in a full stadium in front of their fans. The best way to enjoy football matches is to win, so I’m pretty sure that’s what they are going to try.
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What’s your view on West Ham? They’ve had lots of ups and downs…
I was surprised by their problems because when I look to the players and the squad, it’s a surprise they are in trouble, so it’s not a surprise they managed to be safe.
Marko Arnautovic has had a great season for West Ham and is somebody you’ve worked with 10 years ago at Inter Milan. For you, was he always going to flower into a talent?
In Inter, he was an 18 or 19 year old boy when he arrived, with lots of talent but with space to go. Then he made it, he matured, he’s creative, he’s strong, he’s fast, he’s not afraid to play, he’s quite arrogant but in a positive way, so no surprise.
With West Ham on Thursday and then Watford on Sunday, it’s going to be two games in three days. Will you use the whole squad over those two games?
I need a point and until I have the point, I go with everything I have.
You’ve said Michael Carrick will play in the final league game…
Yes, Michael will play and he will start the match. He will be the captain, last match at Old Trafford in front of our fans. That’s what he deserves. But the fact Michael plays doesn’t mean we go weak because Michael can still play a game at a high level.
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Ashley Young’s next appearance will be his 200th for United in all competitions and obviously he is 33 years old in a few weeks. Do you think he’s an example of effort and energy?
You know, when I arrived, he was playing a few matches per season. For the last couple of seasons, lots of injuries, lots of doubts, lots of question marks about his future at the highest level. In two years, we managed to have him, even with the important injury he had at the end of last season, but we had him for lots of matches, being important, probably going to the World Cup. I think he’s better now than he was two years ago. That’s the way I see things and next year again he will be an important member of our squad. If he’s now on 200, I hope next season he goes to 250.