Monday 19 February 2018

Jose Mourinho: 'Ryan Giggs left Man United because he wanted the manager's job'

Jose Mourinho was speaking to the media for the first time as Manchester United boss today and he had his say on Ryan Giggs' departure
Jose Mourinho was speaking to the media for the first time as Manchester United boss today and he had his say on Ryan Giggs' departure

Carl Markham

Mourinho insists club stalwart Ryan Giggs, who was assistant manager but ended a 29-year association with the club at the weekend, was not forced out by him.

"Ryan wanted to be Manchester United manager - the owners , the board decided the job was for me.

"From this moment Ryan wants to be a manager, like in 2000 when I decided myself I wanted to be a manager.

"Many of us are stuck as coaches and for many us we have to make a decision and Ryan made a decision.

"He could be what he wanted in the club. The club wanted to give him any important job - he made a decision where you need to be brave.

"It is not easy. I was in Barcelona in 2000 and had a contract for two more years to be assistant - do you think it was easy for me to leave such a big club and go to a new fight?

"It was not easy and for Ryan it is not going to be easy going from assistant to manager.

"But good luck and if one day he wants to come back to the club while I am here I would never stop him coming back.

"If one day the club offers him the chance to become the manager I think it will be something natural and a consequence of success in his managerial career."

Mourinho had encouraging words for another United favourite, Wayne Rooney.

The striker is just four short of equalling Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time club goalscoring record of 249 but spent England's entire Euro 2016 campaign in midfield, having performed that role for Van Gaal on a number of occasions.

However, Mourinho has no intention of playing him in an orthodox midfield role.

"In football there are many jobs on the field. The one that is more difficult to find is the guy who has put the ball on the net," he added.

"The players change during the years, their qualities, their characteristics, but something that will never change is the natural appetite to put the ball in the net.

"Maybe he is not a striker, not a number nine any more but for me he will never be a number six, playing 50 metres from the goal.

"You can tell me his pass is amazing but my pass is also amazing without pressure.

"To be there and put the ball in the net is the most difficult thing. For me he will be a nine, a 10, a nine and a half but never a six or an eight."

Mourinho is well aware of the job he is taking on but the super-confident Portuguese is not over-awed by the task of restoring the Red Devils' fortunes - despite the "disaster" which was the final few months of his Chelsea reign last season.

"There are some managers who last won a title 10 years ago, some of them the last time was never. The last time I won a title was one year ago," he said.

"I play against myself. I feel I have to prove not to the others but to myself.

"I will never be able to work without success - that is my nature. I always have to find the reasons why I have so many questions.

"That is why I could not approach this job in a defensive point of view by saying the best we did was fourth and the FA Cup. I can't go there.

"In the last three years (under David Moyes and Van Gaal) I want to forget. I don't want the players to start by thinking we have to do better.

"Doing better is to finish fourth. I want to be aggressive - we want to win."

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