Q&A: Mourinho on Alexis, training and West Brom
Jose Mourinho sat down for an exclusive interview with MUTV at the Aon Training Complex on Friday, as the Reds continued to prepare for Sunday’s Premier League clash against West Brom.
Here's what the boss had to say about Alexis Sanchez’s great form, United’s positive Premier League momentum and this weekend’s ‘dangerous’ match against West Brom…Has this week been a good week in training, Jose?
“Yeah, a good week. One week of five days of training sessions, which is good to prepare the team.”
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“Hopefully next season will be better, which is what we think is going to happen. I’m not a big fan of buying players in the winter market, exactly because of that period of adaptation, especially for attacking players. But he’s obviously improving; he’s obviously getting more comfortable to play with the team, and I’m pretty sure that next season will be better.”
Jose: We must stay focused after the derbyVideo
You’ve now beaten every team in the Premier League this season. That’s a fantastic achievement that I’m sure you’re proud of?
“Yeah, it’s good. We have, I think, a lot of positive things during the season and that’s one of the things. No team was able – in two matches against us – to not lose one, so we have beaten every team. We have a very positive record against the top six teams; we have a very positive record also at home. Much more goals scored than last season, already more points so lots of positives, in my opinion.”
West Brom are at the bottom of the league, battling against relegation. Do you have to prepare differently for a game like this when you know a team is fighting for everything?
“I think it’s a dangerous week for us, because we come from a very good result, and also I think a few consecutive victories in the Premier League, so our moment is good, playing against a team that is still fighting, and they will fight until mathematically it’s not possible. I think it’s a dangerous match, but probably what happened this week in the football world maybe opened the eyes for everyone that, in football, anything is possible.”
“In every competition, [it] was in the Champions League and in the Europa League. In Austria, three goals in six minutes, what happened with Roma, what happened with Real Madrid-Juventus. So many results that give me reason, when I always tell my players that, in football, anything in possible – both ways. You can be winning 3-0 and the result is not safe, you can be losing 2-0 or 3-0 and the match is not lost. Big teams, small teams - what is that in football? Football is an incredible sport.”
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West Brom have a new caretaker manager. How different is that, when you don’t know how a manager prepares, how he sets up his team and his style of play? Does that make it tricky?
“Yeah, it’s more difficult. Because by one side we analyse the team and what the team was with [Alan] Pardew for many weeks, and then we have [Darren] Moore, caretaker manager, one match, and we have only one match to look at it. Are they going to follow the same direction of the last match, in tactical terms? Are they going to go back to things that they did many, many times in the season – playing with three centre-backs, with five in the back. What are they going to do? I think in these occasions we have to focus more in what we want to do and forget a little bit the opponent, but knowing, obviously, their qualities.”
You’ve won every Premier League game in March and April has got off to a good start, too. How keen are you to keep that momentum going?
“We have to try. As I was saying: this is a very difficult league and all the top six teams, we knew in advance that two of them would be outside the Champions League positions. We knew that only one of the six would win the title, and we were second for months and months and months, so obviously it’s better to be second than third or fourth. As I was saying, we have to mathematically confirm a place in the top four, which is compulsory – and we need four or five points for that - but I think we deserve to finish second and we are going to fight to get the points for that.”
And finally, how is the squad looking ahead of the game?
“Everyone is perfect, apart from Romero. All the few players [who were injured] are ready to play.”