Mourinho launches scathing attack at critics on eve of Premier League season

Jose Mourinho has taken aim at Manchester United’s critics on the eve of the new Premier League season.

After a difficult summer at Old Trafford where only Brazil midfielder Fred and Portuguese youngster Diego Dalot have arrived, Mourinho’s men have largely been written off as title contenders for the new campaign.

Champions Manchester City are odds-on favourites with bookmakers to defend their crown, but rather than last year’s runners up, it is big-spending Liverpool who are widely considered to be their closest rivals in 2018-19.

That rankles with Mourinho, who has come in for criticism over his team’s style of play in the last 12 months and, increasingly during pre-season, his demeanour.

Now he has hit back, saying he can scarcely believe that it was his side who were City’s closest challengers last term, and questioning why his work is called into question, while managers who finished below him last term are made to "look like serial winners".

“My view is that first of all it is difficult for me to believe we finished second," said Mourinho ahead of his side’s Premier League opener against Leicester.

“When I listen, when I read, not much but sometimes I do, it is difficult to believe that we finished second, because you are capable of making people that finish second look like they were relegated and people who win nothing, finish below us, and you make them look like serial winners.

“It is difficult for me to understand, to feel, to believe we finish second – which I keep saying.

“And it is sometimes difficult to believe, that I won eight championships and three Premier Leagues but I keep feeling that the second last season was one of my biggest achievements in the game.”

Mourinho is set to be without a host of players for the clash with the Foxes, after revealing Nemanja Matic underwent surgery in Philadelphia during the club’s US Tour.

Matic joins Ander Herrera, Antonio Valencia, Diego Dalot, Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo on the sidelines.

The Portuguese will meet with a number of his World Cup stars on Thursday afternoon, to see if any feel fit enough to play in the season opener.

Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Romelu Lukaku, Ashley Young and Marouane Fellaini all returned on Monday, but may be pressed into action.

“They returned on Monday, trained for four days so you can imagine that they are not really fit and ready but we have needs."

Will Mourinho last the season as Man United manager?


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