Mourinho: I’d have preferred to have 20 new players

Date published: Saturday 6th August 2016 4:48

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho admits it could take some time for Manchester United to move on from the Louis van Gaal era in terms of their brand of football.

Mourinho took over as United boss in May as successor to the sacked Van Gaal, under whom the Red Devils had been playing a widely-criticised style labelled by many as dull.

When asked ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield clash with Leicester about United’s players making a transition from that, Mourinho was keen to stress his own philosophy was simply “different” to Van Gaal’s rather than better.

But the Portuguese – who has so far signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly this summer and looks set to add Paul Pogba imminently – did also remark the process of change would be easier if he could have “20 new players and start from zero.”

Mourinho said:

“My teams are different to Mr Van Gaal’s teams.

“I want to make it clear that I am not saying my teams are better or have better ideas or my principles of play are better. Not at all.

“My teams are different to Mr Van Gaal, and it is a difficult situation to change the dynamics.

“It would be easier for me to have 20 new players and start from zero. For two years, they had some principles of play that are not mine – clearly, they are not.

“But the players are players and, without losing their identity, they always try to adapt to what the manager wants.

“Of course, after two years of work, there are things in their brain that are automatic, and that is difficult to change. But we are working hard and the players are trying everything.

“Of course, we make mistakes and we are far from perfection, but they are giving everything to adapt, and step by step my team is going to be my team.”

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