Thursday, October 24

Mourinho eyes second season glory with United


File photo shows Jose Mourinho (centre) giving instructions during the UEFA Super Cup football match between Real Madrid and Manchester United. — AFP photo

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom: Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United are equipped to maintain his remarkable second season success rate by winning the Premier League title this term.

Mourinho has won the domestic league title at the end of his second year in each of his five major management jobs.

He achieved the feat at Porto, Chelsea twice, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, with the only exceptions to the rule being his first two management roles, at Benfica and Uniao de Leiria, where he lasted less than a season in both cases.

Mourinho goes into his second season at Old Trafford needing significant improvement in the Premier League after United finished sixth in May.

However, the club did win the Europa League and the League Cup, giving the manager a platform of success on which to build.

Mourinho’s optimism is based on three beliefs; he feels he has a more settled squad than when he arrived, that they have had a better pre-season than 12 months ago and that their rivals at the top of the division will have greater distractions in European competition this time.

“What would it mean for me to be the Premier League champion? I think it is the objective of every one of the top teams and every one of the top team managers,” Mourinho said.

“I don’t think I am going to win it because I always win it in the second season. Not at all.

“I just think that naturally, a manager in the second season knows the players and knows the club better.

“I don’t say I know the league better because I have been in this league for a long time.

“We are in a position to do quality work better than we did in the first season, so I am convinced that our second season, in terms of the quality of our team, is going to be better.

“I have conditions to deliver a better team than I did in the first season. If that is going to mean better results and the title, I don’t know.”

Mourinho’s side begin their Premier League campaign at home to West Ham on Sunday having enjoyed a strong pre-season, winning six out of seven friendlies before losing to Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday. — AFP