Jose Mourinho has warned his Premier League rivals: “I’m on fire.”
The Manchester United boss believes he has reignited the flame of success at Old Trafford by winning the Europa League, League Cup and Community Shield in his first season. And he has now lit the blue touch paper for an assault on the title by insisting that the United team now has the Mourinho stamp running through its DNA.
The Reds spent £167million last year to strengthen a squad that has taken the club back into the Champions League – and have followed that up by lavishing another £147m on Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof.
Mourinho said: “In so many ways, this is now my team.
“In terms of the squad, this is my second summer transfer window and, in this complicated world of the football market, I was thinking it would take three windows. But I now have a good group, a club much better equipped and much better organised in the areas that support the first-team squad.
“We are much better organised at every level – the medical department is better, the structure is better organised, the logistics are better, the training routines are better organised. We are much stronger as a team, in terms of analysis.
“I am doing the same work I have done at every other club and I feel this club is now much better. We have a good squad, good numbers, with people like Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and maybe Zlatan to come later. Tjey will be like new players for us at some point. We are going to try to win the title, try to give a tough fight to the top teams in the Champions League.
“And, as you know, I have always loved the English cups and I have always tried to give them the respect because I like being in the finals. So we go for it this season.”
Mourinho made history by becoming the first United manager to lift silverware in his first season, but a sixth-placed finish in the Premier League was way below expectations.
There were constant suggestions he was finding it hard to settle in Manchester, with his family still living in London.
Mourinho is continuing to live in the five-star luxury of the Lowry Hotel on the banks of the Irwell.
And he insisted: “The only thing I demand from myself is to work hard every day – like I already do. I give everything and then, normally, the results are a good consequence of that work. I don’t put any pressure on myself and say ‘I have to do this or I have to do that’.
“My dedication to my job is always at the maximum – and even more now than when I first started. I am on fire!”
* MOURINHO insists the Premier League title will not be bought.
The Manchester United boss has splashed out £147million on new players this summer — but been outspent by Mancunian rivals City, who have lavished more than £200million on Pep Guardiola’s squad.
Mourinho, however, believes the race for the title is wide open.
He said: “Of course, to buy lots of good players is important and better squads are better equipped to win the title. That’s normal. But that’s not enough.
“I think every one of the top teams are equipped to do it. I think Tottenham, without any spending, are equipped to win the title. They have a fantastic team and a fantastic manager, with great stability because they have been together a long time.
“So without spending they are equipped.
“Man City – fantastic manager, great spending, already have very good players, so they are equipped. Arsenal the same. Great experience in the manager, same team, didn’t sell top players like Ozil and Alexis.
“Liverpool are equipped. Chelsea are the champions and won the championship easily. They have lost some players and bought some players. It is difficult to say which team is best equipped.
“I just think the competition can be better than ever.”
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