Jose Mourinho is adamant he met expectations while at Manchester United ahead of his latest return to Old Trafford with Tottenham on Sunday.
Mourinho spent two-and-a-half years in the United hotseat, before being sacked in December 2018. During his time in charge, he won the Europa League and League Cup. He also finished second in the Premier League and was beaten in the 2018 FA Cup final.
He left later that year after things turned sour in his third season. United fans though gave him a warm reception on his first visit back with Spurs last December.
The Portuguese believes he did only what was possible in his time there.
“I expected that, I never had problems in the club,” he said of the supporters’ reaction. “The fans, they know that I gave everything that I could.
“I won what was possible to win, I didn’t win what was not possible to win. I gave everything, I gave my life to the club and my professionalism, like I always do.
“Internally, lots of friends for life, lots of amazing people that I met in the club. I only have good feelings, feelings that I will have to forget in 90 minutes. Because for 90 minutes, they want to win, I want to win, that’s football.”
Spurs travel north boosted by the arrival of Benfica striker Carlos Vinicius on Friday night. It is unlikely though that he will be involved.
The Brazilian’s arrival adds to an already bloated squad, with close to 30 senior professionals.
Mourinho expects to trim that down before the transfer window shuts on Monday.
Despite their recent hectic schedule, having to play eight games in 22 days, the likes of Juan Foyth, Ryan Sessegnon, Paulo Gazzaniga, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Danny Rose have not been used at all. All six can expect to depart, though two defenders could also arrive.
Mourinho has previously said he has too many players and it becomes difficult to manage. As such, he is open to the idea of letting some go before Monday’s deadline.
“The transfer window in two directions and it’s possible that we could let a couple of players to leave. It’s possible we could let a couple of young players go and experience playing,” he said.
“For sure, we are not going to keep every player in the squad over normal numbers.
“I like to work normally with a squad of 22 players plus the keepers. We are not going to be far from that number.”
Mourinho on Tottenham squad balance
Spurs round off their packed schedule against United. Mourinho knows that plenty more of his squad will be disappointed if they are not involved.
“My job is not to keep them happy. My job is to do the best for the club and to get the best possible results,” Mourinho said.
“But it is certain that I agree that it’s impossible to keep everybody happy when you have so many players. Every weekend, every match, some players will not be playing and that’s not good for them. Especially when they are good players.
“But at the same time, we are a big club, we want to be bigger, we want to play in all the competitions. We have six matches in Europa League group phase playing on a Thursday. We are for sure to get lots of matches at Sunday at 12 o’clock or Sunday 3pm.
“It’s going to be very, very hard so it’s impossible to do it with all the same players. To have a good squad with good numbers is what all the top clubs have.”
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