Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho: When I don’t win, you kill me
Jose Mourinho says people will be out to “kill” him if Manchester United do not win the FA Cup this season.
Brought in after Louis van Gaal’s prosaic style and lack of progress cost him his job in 2016, the Portuguese oversaw Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield glory in his first campaign.
United’s sixth-place finish in the Premier League tempered that success, but Mourinho is on course to finish second this term – the club’s highest finish since Sir Alex Ferguson bowed out as champion in 2013.
However, the Red Devils boss has been widely criticised for his style this term and knows even more flak will head his way if he does not overcome former club Chelsea in next month’s FA Cup final.
“When I don’t win, you kill me,” said Mourinho, whose team reached the May 19 showpiece by beating Tottenham 2-1 at Wembley on Saturday. “Because I almost do that all the time, when I don’t do it, you kill me, which is what you are all ready to do.”
United’s style has come into question more than their substance, although seeing rivals Manchester City win the Premier League with five games to spare has heightened scrutiny.
Summer signing Romelu Lukaku highlighted inconsistency as a key issue and Mourinho accepts they can do much better.
“I keep saying that I think we should have probably eight, nine, 10 more points than we had,” the United boss said.
“We could finish this season with 88, 89, 90 points. Not acceptable, the last defeat (1-0 at home to West Brom on April 15). Not acceptable, the performance at Huddersfield (2-1 defeat in October). Not acceptable, the performance at Newcastle (1-0 defeat in February).
“So, we lost a few matches that we should do better. Can we improve next season? Let’s try.
“Can Manchester City keep this level or improve this level? Only they can say.
“But if they have the team they have and if they are going to invest on top of the team they have, of course it is going to be very difficult for us.”
Q: Jose said it's going to be your last season as a player?@Carras16: "Yes. There comes a time when, as much as you like or don't like it, your body tells you it's time to stop playing. It's something you have to accept." #MUFC— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 12, 2018
Put to Mourinho that United would need to improve their side, he added: “We are going to invest the basic to improve our squad.
“We need to find a replacement for Michael Carrick. If Marouane Fellaini leaves, we need to find a replacement for Marouane Fellaini.
“There is always in the group of players, in the squad, there is always a player or a couple of players, they are not playing a lot, and they will try obviously to leave, so we are going again to touch our squad and to believe that more than spend, spend, spend, is probably the evolution of our players.
“We have some young players that need to get with both hands opportunities with their evolution, so let’s see.
“But in this moment, I don’t even think about next season or the final, I think about Arsenal (Premier League match at Old Trafford on April 29) because we need one point to finish top four, but we need seven points to finish second and we deserve to finish second and we have to finish second.”