Jose Mourinho will forget what has gone on for the last three disappointing seasons at Manchester United, he said in his first interview after being installed as manager on Friday (27 May).
Since Alex Ferguson retired after winning the Premier League in 2013 the club have finished seventh, fourth and fifth, securing their only silverware in that time by winning this season’s FA Cup.
That trophy was not enough to save Louis van Gaal who was dismissed this week following two years in charge.
“I think I prefer to forget the past three years,” Mourinho told the club’s TV channel. ” I prefer to forget the past three years, I prefer to focus on the giant club I have in my hands now. I think what the fans are expecting me to say is that I want to win.”
The former Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager, sacked by the London club in December after his second spell there, believes he has the right experience to be successful at United.
” I think it comes at the right moment in my career because Man United is one of these clubs where you need really to be prepared for it,” said the charismatic Portuguese.
“Giant clubs must be for the best managers and I think I’m ready for it. So I could say I’m happy, I’m proud, I’m honoured.
“I want to win, added Mourinho.
“I want the players and the fans to feel that I say that but I feel we can win.
“I play so many times at Old Trafford with other clubs and there was empathy, no problems, and in fact I was pushed by that feeling to say sometimes things that my clubs were not happy with. I remember for example when I won at Old Trafford with Real Madrid I told that the best team lost, not many people was happy at Real Madrid.”
Mourinho did not offer any hints about whether Ryan Giggs, who worked as Van Gaal’s assistant, would be staying.
There was also no mention of possible transfer targets like Sweden and Paris St Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Mourinho has been given a three-year contract, which British media estimated being worth between US $43.99-$65.98 million.
“Jose is quite simply the best manager in the game today,” United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement.
“He has won trophies and inspired players in countries across Europe and, of course, he knows the Premier League very well having won three titles here.
“His track record of success is ideal to take the club forward.”
Mourinho was widely expected to succeed Van Gaal and his agent Jorge Mendes met United officials on Tuesday to discuss personal terms.
The talks became protracted, however, when it emerged Chelsea still owned his name as a trademark.
Now the stage is set for the marriage of two of world soccer’s biggest names, Mourinho and United, England’s most successful club and a global giant.