Jose Mourinho has suggested that some of his squad have struggled to “cope with the pressure to win” at Manchester United.United have only won one FA Cup in three underwhelming campaigns that followed Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement but Mourinho believes a winning mentality is being restored at Old Trafford, even if it has been more difficult to coax out of some.
The Portuguese says some of his squad have needed to “get out of their comfort zone” and reckons that change will take time.
“I told you in the first or second press conference that I was speaking about being champion because I don’t think there is another position that a manager can have in this club,” Mourinho said ahead of Sunday’s trip to Leicester.
“It would be easy for me to say we want to play better, we want to improve the quality of my game, we want to improve the relationship between the players and the fans. I want the fans to feel again more connected with the team and style of play.
“I didn’t know the players very well. I didn’t know that some players need time to live with this because this must be part of your natural habitat: play to win, responsibility to win, cope with the pressure to win.
“This is something that has to belong to your natural habitat and for some guys it doesn’t. They also need that time to go out of their comfort zone or a zone where they are protected because we assume that the objective is not to win, that also takes time.”
Mourinho believes that winning mentality can be re-built if United go further into the knockout stages of the Europa League this season and says reaching the final of the EFL Cup is important.
“Mr [Ed] Woodward [executive vice-chairman] and the owners, we spoke a couple of times, we don’t need to speak every day because we know exactly the way to do it. I think a very good way to do it is also to be fighting for the competitions we are because this helps,” he said.
“To play a final again, to go to the knockout of the Europa League again with some responsibilities because we feel we also have responsibilities in the competition. These are all details that are going to help the people.”
Source: Sky Sports