Man Utd up­turn leaves Mour­inho feel­ing at home

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

MANCH­ESTER: Manch­ester United man­ager Jose Mour­inho says he has started to feel “re­ally at home” at Old Traf­ford and be­lieves foun­da­tions are in place to bring suc­cess back to the club.

Mour­inho en­dured a dif­fi­cult start to life in Manch­ester af­ter suc­ceed­ing Louis van Gaal, but the Por­tuguese’s im­pact has started to be felt in re­cent weeks.

United head into their Box­ing Day fix­ture against Sun­der­land on the back of three con­sec­u­tive Premier League vic­to­ries and with the Cham­pi­ons League places almost within reach. “What I can say is that in here I felt peo­ple with open arms. A very calm, and in­tel­li­gent, board and own­ers. They know what they want,” Mour­inho said.

“They have big ex­pe­ri­ence al­ready. Very calm, very prag­matic, giv­ing me good con­di­tions to work and the play­ers and peo­ple that sur­round me.

“I felt (aware of) some sad­ness be­cause peo­ple that love foot­ball, they want to be suc­cess­ful and ev­ery­body tries to help to go in the same di­rec­tion.

“For me it was easy to come. A dif­fi­cult job, but easy now to feel at home.

“Easy to feel good in the club, easy to feel that the club wants to progress, the peo­ple want to be happy again and I felt good im­me­di­ately. “So five, six months here, but re­ally feel­ing at home. For me it was quite easy. “Ob­vi­ously ex­pec­ta­tions are high, re­sults up and down, we are in a po­si­tion that is not the po­si­tion where we want to be. “But in terms of pas­sion for my work, pas­sion for my new club, feel­ing re­ally happy here, yes.”

Mour­inho is again set to start with striker Zlatan Ibrahi­movic against Sun­der­land, the 35-year-old hav­ing taken his United tally to 16 goals with a brace in last week­end’s 2-0 win at West Bromwich Al­bion.

He paid trib­ute to the en­durance of the for­mer Swe­den in­ter­na­tional and his abil­ity to cope with the rigours of English foot­ball de­spite his ad­vanc­ing years.


“I think 35 for him is the same as 25,” Mour­inho said. “He scores goals, plays well, I’m re­ally happy for him be­cause he will end his ca­reer on high, not in Amer­ica or China. He’s end­ing his ca­reer at the top.

“His record is good. He can im­prove. With no penal­ties, that is amaz­ing too. Nor­mally other guys that are top scor­ers have a lot of penal­ties. “He had one penalty in 17 matches. I couldn’t be hap­pier with him.” Mour­inho is still with­out Luke Shaw (groin), but oth­er­wise has a full com­ple­ment of de­fend­ers to choose from with Mar­cos Rojo, Da­ley Blind, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly all avail­able.

Sun­der­land man­ager David Moyes goes back to Old Traf­ford in charge of a team for the first time since he was sacked by United in April 2014.

Moyes was given only 10 months to make an im­pact af­ter he was cho­sen to re­place Alex Fer­gu­son, but has no re­grets about leav­ing Everton to take the job.

“My time there was too short, but as I have said many times, you have to win games and I didn’t win enough games,” said the Scot. “I would do it again, 100 per­cent. Very few peo­ple are of­fered the job at Manch­ester United and I was hon­oured to be of­fered the job. “It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence and one I wouldn’t change be­cause of the qual­ity of the play­ers and pro­fes­sion­al­ism I found.” For­mer United play­ers Don­ald Love and John O’Shea could be in the Sun­der­land side, but Ad­nan Januzaj, who is on loan from Old Traf­ford, is not el­i­gi­ble to face his par­ent club.

“I will feel that I’m go­ing into a dif­fi­cult game and for us to get a re­sult we will have to play re­ally well,” said Moyes. “Nev­er­the­less we are in pretty good shape as well. We have had a pretty good run, so we want to go there and do well.” — AFP

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