Friday 30 September 2016

Jose Mourinho focus

Published 16/07/2016 | 16:01

Jose Mourinho took charge of Manchester United for the first time
Jose Mourinho took charge of Manchester United for the first time

Jose Mourinho enjoyed a winning start to life as Manchester United manager, with a 2-0 success over Wigan in his first pre-season friendly.

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Here, Press Association Sport assesses his performance at the DW Stadium.

RECEPTION

Mourinho's visage was visible long before kick-off, with scarves for sale proclaiming the Special One all around the DW Stadium. The Portuguese was mobbed for autographs as he emerged from the tunnel and obliged a lucky few, while the first chants of his name arrived little more than a minute into proceedings.

The huge ovation as he waved towards the fans at the end of the match suggested that unanimous support from the stands is guaranteed when the season begins.

DEMEANOUR

Mourinho found himself outshone by opposite number Gary Caldwell in the sartorial stakes, opting for trainers and comfortable clothing while the Latics boss donned a sharp navy suit for the occasion.

Mourinho's relaxed garb extended to his touchline behaviour too. He was present in the technical area for much of the match but hardly exerted himself beyond the occasional word of positional advice.

That he could not even throw himself fully into contesting a free-kick decision that went against his side confirmed that this was clearly a small step up from a training drill at Carrington.

TACTICS

Mourinho went in with a 4-2-3-1 formation, as favoured during his last title reign at Chelsea.

The midfield base of Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera was hardly overworked but allowed the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard to commit to attack. Their efforts were hampered by a flat showing from James Wilson up front, though the return of Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford and the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic should pep things up in the final third.

At half-time Mourinho rang the changes, bringing both goals, and the last half-hour consisted largely of tinkering.

Ashley Young and Juan Mata switched flanks, and the latter was asked to push wider or press closer towards central striker Will Keane from time to time.

Press Association

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