José Mourinho has spoken out strongly to state he is not unhappy at Manchester United. His remarks follow comments the manager made in October that living in Manchester is "a bit of a disaster". He is thought to have said this humorously and he has clarified his situation.
“To give people this idea that I’m not happy here but that I was happy in London – it’s bullsh*t,” the manager told the fanzine United We Stand. “My family are in London because my daughter is at university. My son plays for Fulham. I cannot demand they follow me, they have their lives and they’re at that age where they want to fly.
“One day a week – when I can and at the moment it’s difficult with all the games – I go to London to have dinner with the family.”
He regards the separation from his family as part of the job. "I don't go to cities to enjoy cities, I go to work," he said. "If I wanted to enjoy places I would go to Los Angeles and go to the beach every day. I'm here to arrive at the training ground every day at 8am and leave on a normal day at 6pm. I give everything I have. I have nothing more to give in terms of my time, my desire and my ambition."
Mourinho knows he has a major rebuilding challenge at the club, though does not regret his stance on taking over in the summer that United should aim for this season’s title.
“In the Premier League right now there are clubs with 5 per cent of United’s history and probably in this moment they are better equipped for success,” he said. “If you remember my words from my first press conference, I was not arrogant. I knew I was being risky with my words when I said: ‘I want United to be champions now.’ But I felt – and keep feeling – that no matter what the conditions are at United, you have to say that.
“We are getting too many draws and our results are the type a defensive team has – yet we’re not playing like a defensive team.”
Mourinho added that he did not view any of the players in United’s academy as good enough for promotion. “Excite me, yes. Ready? No,” he said.
"Last season, some of the boys were waiting. Some of them with great talent. Marcus Rashford is head of that talent. They were in a period where they had to play. They had no pressure at all. Nobody expected anything from them. There were no senior players on the bench waiting for them to make a mistake, just them. The choice was Rashford or Rashford. Timothy Fosu-Mensah or Mensah. There were no other options, the injuries were so many.
"The situation is different this season. The number of injuries is smaller, the expectations about the players are higher. I investigated the history of some young players at the club. One is one of the greatest players this club has ever had – Ryan Giggs.
“His second season was not comparable with the season when he started. Then, in the third season, he reached the level of Giggs. It was the final explosion of Giggs. That happens with many youth players. They are free when they first come, free of responsibilities and to express themselves. Opponents don’t know them, they’re caught by surprise.
"That changes in the second season, but we train many times with the young players here. In international weeks me, and Nicky Butt [the academy head] and before Nicky with Warren Joyce, we have the young players together and interacting. It helps accelerate their process. So yes, we want to play young players but sometimes in football it's about the moment. So yes, the people here are aware of the history and tradition of young players at the club."