Jose Mourinho signing autographs for fans.

Key quotes: Jose on Club America, captaincy & Alexis

Friday 20 July 2018 06:36

Jose Mourinho has described Manchester United's competitive 1-1 draw against a physically-impressive Club America side in Arizona as a "good training session".

Juan Mata’s late strike cancelled out Henry Martin’s header as the spoils were shared against the Mexican outfit in the first match of Tour 2018, presented by Aon. 

The boss spoke exclusively to MUTV’s Stewart Gardner after the game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Catch up on his key quotes...

“It was good. After five days of training, you need to play and it’s good to play against a team that is three days away from starting their Mexican league. [They were] a team with intensity, a team with quality that pushed us to levels that we weren’t prepared for but pushed us to these levels, so it was a good training session.”

“He [Tahith] was good. He came with the intention to show [what he can do] and in a moment where we had no strikers on the pitch – [Anthony] Martial was the only one and then he left, so we had no strikers – so we needed people to create and have some initiative, which he did. The action for the cross for the goal [by Mata] was a beautiful action. He was enthusiastic and he was confident to play. Of course, physically he has his limitations and, when he had one more touch and he allowed the body contact [from defenders], of course he loses [the ball] for everyone. But when he makes the ball move and when he attacks people one against one, he has qualities – he’s a good kid."

Later, in the press conference, Jose continued: "We have plans to make him [Chong] train the most possible times with us because that increases his evolution. He has to play where he belongs, he has to play in the Academy and he has to work physically because physically is where he’s not ready. Technically he’s very good, tactically he understands the game. He understands his position. From the physical point of view, when the game gets into important situations, he’s in trouble, he’s fragile. He’s a kid, he’s still a kid, the talent is there, the personality is there, the passion, the desire to play, the humility to learn, so it’s a fantastic experience for him if he can play like today 20-25 minutes in every one of these five matches. If during the season, he trains with us and if during the season, he has a couple of occasions to play minutes with us, I don’t know, it depends, especially some cup matches. Of course he’s a good kid and it’s not for today, but for sure, he’s a good kid.”

“I don’t even know if he is flying, if he is in Los Angeles or if he is in Manchester – I have no idea about it. There will be no [Romelu] or [Marcus] Rashford, for sure, and we have to try with what we have. It’s not about if he can play, it’s about when he has to. When Martial left the pitch, it was Mata [leading the attack]. When Mata went to the sides, it was a kid that trained with us for the first time this pre-season [Mason Greenwood]. There’s no Lukaku or Rashford here and probably not even for the start of the Premier League, so it’s about when Alexis lands and when he lands, he has to play because he trained with us for five days before we departed to Los Angeles and we left one fitness coach behind with him to keep training with him. Of course, it’s individual training but when he arrives, he has to play.”

Jose's post-match interview on MUTV Video

Jose's post-match interview on MUTV

Stewart Gardner has spoken to the manager about the result, performance and our eye-catching young players...

“Valencia will be the captain but when he doesn’t play, we have to make decisions – it depends who is on the pitch. If [Chris] Smalling is, if Ashley Young is, if [Ander] Herrera is or if Mata is, if they are on the pitch, they are an option. I think Nemanja Matic has all the attributes to be Manchester United captain but of course he only arrived one year ago. But for me, I don’t care too much about the captaincy, I care more about the life in the dressing room.”

United 1 Club America 1  article

Juan Mata's goal ensured a share of the spoils in the Reds' opening match of Tour 2018, presented by Aon.

“It was a good training session for us and I think they start their league this week, so they were at a more advanced stage than us. I think both teams fought for a result. It was a friendly, the result was not the most important thing but I think the players fought for the result. I think in the first half we were the best team and had the best chances. In the second half, they were stronger than us and scored the goal, then without the only striker we have here [Anthony Martial] we had to try to go for it. The players showed their intentions.”