Jose Mourinho says people will be out to “kill” him if Manchester United do not win the FA Cup this season.
Brought in after Louis van Gaal’s prosaic style and lack of progress cost him his job in 2016, the Portuguese oversaw Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield glory in his first campaign.
United’s sixth-place finish in the Premier League tempered that success, but Mourinho is on course to finish second this term – the club’s highest finish since Sir Alex Ferguson bowed out as champion in 2013.
However, the Red Devils boss has been widely criticised for his style this term and knows even more flak will head his way if he does not overcome former club Chelsea in next month’s FA Cup final. Read 16 Conclusions on their semi-final win.
“When I don’t win, you kill me,” said Mourinho, whose team reached the May 19 showpiece by beating Tottenham 2-1 at Wembley on Saturday. “Because I almost do that all the time, when I don’t do it, you kill me, which is what you are all ready to do.”
United’s style has come into question more than their substance, although seeing rivals Manchester City win the Premier League with five games to spare has heightened scrutiny.
Summer signing Romelu Lukaku highlighted inconsistency as a key issue and Mourinho accepts they can do much better.
“I keep saying that I think we should have probably eight, nine, 10 more points than we had,” the United boss said.
“We could finish this season with 88, 89, 90 points. Not acceptable, the last defeat (1-0 at home to West Brom on April 15). Not acceptable, the performance at Huddersfield (2-1 defeat in October). Not acceptable, the performance at Newcastle (1-0 defeat in February).
“So, we lost a few matches that we should do better. Can we improve next season? Let’s try.
“Can Manchester City keep this level or improve this level? Only they can say.
“But if they have the team they have and if they are going to invest on top of the team they have, of course it is going to be very difficult for us.”