Mourinho takes swipe at United's detractors

Lewis Collier
August 10, 2018

"We believe a lot in our players and there's no point now to say, why not repeat a similar season like past year or the season before, and with more experience".

Jose Mourinho has taken a swipe at Manchester United's detractors a day ahead of his side's Premier League opener at home to Leicester City.

"I am still expecting them to be very strong this season, and I actually think that, along with Liverpool, they will be a lot closer to Manchester City this time". They couldn't even sign a player from the Championship.

"I told that during pre-season it looked like I was saying something absolutely out of order, something insane, I repeat and maybe tomorrow the reaction is the same: Pre-season hard when you don't have your players to work, that's as simple as that".

Pushed on whether there would be any ins or outs on Thursday, Mourinho added: "The information I have is no (nothing will happen)".

The striker turned broadcast pundit believes Liverpool's mental edge over City following three victories against them last season - twice in the Champions League and once in the league - could be the difference if City do not runaway with the title in the manner they did last season. I don't think just because they haven't signed a centre-back we should be sat here thinking "We'll let Manchester United off the hook, they shouldn't be challenging this year". Any deal for Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld was a way off on the eve of the deadline and interest in Barcelona defender Yerry Mina has been tempered up until now by prohibitive financial demands.

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The lack of new signings will compound issues surrounding his squad for the start of the Premier League season. Mourinho also has selection problems for the Leicester game, with Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia and Dalot ruled out because of injuries and Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young and Marouane Fellaini not considered fully fit after being given extra time off to recover from the World Cup.

"They returned on Monday", he said.

"If they feel they can help us [against Leicester] - 20 minutes, 10 minutes, half an hour".

Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Phil Jones all came back early from their own extended breaks but Mourinho sounded downbeat again when he was asked about the new season. The way in which United are being talked about this pre-season, it's as if they've got a load of bums playing for them.

I think they know they're not really going to be seen as a great team and that Pep is not going to be seen as someone that has dominated English football if he doesn't win two in two or three in three.

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