Sunday 19 November 2017

'It would be amazing' - Jubilant Jose Mourinho disputes Roy Keane's assessment of his first Man United season

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho celebrates after the UEFA Europa League semi-final, second-leg football match between Manchester United and Celta Vigo at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on May 11, 2017. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho celebrates after the UEFA Europa League semi-final, second-leg football match between Manchester United and Celta Vigo at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on May 11, 2017. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Jose Mourinho has declared he will be ‘very happy’ with his first season at Manchester United if he lifts the Europa League trophy in Stockholm later this month, contradicting the assessment of club legend Roy Keane.

United will get a chance to add a second trophy to their collection for this season after they moved into the final of the Europa League with a 2-1 aggregate win after an edgy night at Old Trafford.

A nervous Mourinho embraced his staff with real emotion at the final whistle after Celta Vigo’s John Guidetti missed an open goal in the final act of a dramatic victory, with the Red Devils boss insisting his debut season at United will be a huge success if they secure Europa League victory and seal the Champions League place that comes with it.

“If we win the Europa League I am more than happy. It would be amazing,” declared Mourinho, as he was asked whether he was one win away from a successful first season at United.

His comment contrasts from the view of former United skipper Keane, who suggested Mourinho and his players will have fallen short of expectations even if they win UEFA’s second tier competition by beating Ajax in the final.

“For a club like Man United to win the League Cup and the Europa League, with the teams that are in it, you would expect them to do that,” Keane told ITV Sport.

“He (Mourinho) has come up with plenty of excuses over the last few months, but there is no reason why United should shy away from dealing with these challenges.

“They are now sixth in the league, I think they are 19 points behind Chelsea. The manager and the players should be embarrassed by that.

“To be as far behind Chelsea as they are, it’s an embarrassment. With the squad they have and the players they have, the money they have spent, it’s not good enough.”

Qualification for the Champions League and two trophies would have to be viewed as success of sorts for United, even if serial winner Keane suggests his old club should be aiming for more than success in what he views as second rate competitions.

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