Friday 15 December 2017

'I think they missed happiness' - Jose Mourinho identifies what his Man United players lacked under Van Gaal

Manchester United's manager Jose Mourinho
Manchester United's manager Jose Mourinho
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has accused his predecessor Louis van Gaal of failing to instil resilience in his squad during his two-year reign at Old Trafford.

Mourinho has opened up on the players he inherited from his former mentor Van Gaal last summer, as he suggested there was a lack of steel running through a group of players who failed to secure a top four finish in the Premier League last season.

After suggesting defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling lacked a desire to play through the pain barrier as they recover from injuries, Mourinho has now hinted he needs to change the mentality of the entire United squad when he joined the club last summer.

“The group was a nice group, honestly,” said Mourinho, as he reflected on his first impressions of the United players.

“Good people, good boys, committed people. I think Mr Van Gaal left a good group of boys with very good relations between them and I got that in my hands.

“I think they missed happiness, they missed trust, they missed belief. They missed this extra bit that brings resilience, brings you fight.”

Mourinho suggested he is succeeding in altering the mindset of his players, as he predicted they will be battle-hardened next season.

“Next July 9, when we meet again for next season, it’s a stronger group,” he added. “So the new players when they arrive will find a group more ready to go for big things.”

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