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José Mourinho wary of roadworks despite Manchester United’s fast start

Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United looks on prior to the Premier League match between Swansea City and Manchester United at Liberty Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Swansea, Wales.

Manchester United continued their superb start to the season by again scoring four goals – the first time they have done that in their opening two matches since 1907 – but José Mourinho warned his players that “it’s not always motorway” and there will be “roadworks” ahead.

The United manager did say, though, that his team are playing with the sort of confidence they lacked last season after three late goals in four minutes against Swansea completed another emphatic 4-0 victory.

Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial all scored for the second game running, with Eric Bailly getting the other goal after Swansea imploded in the final 10 minutes.

When it was pointed out to Mourinho that United had not made a start like this to a season for 110 years, he said: “I prefer to say we start last season with two matches, six points and we finished sixth. That’s not a lesson, it’s a reality of football – two matches are not the end of the world for people that lose and it’s not paradise for people that win.

“I am happy, of course, and the quality of the performance gives me even more confidence.”

That self-belief, according to Mourinho, is the difference between this season and last. “The word that better describes the team now is confident,” he said. “The team starts the game confident, the team starts the second half confident. The thing that I want to see – but I don’t want to see – is the team losing and see the way we emotionally react to it because it’s another change, losing and trying to change the result, because in this moment everything is going in our favour. But it’s not always motorway. You always find difficult roads and roadworks, and we have to be ready.”

Although Pogba scored a fine goal, the Frenchman was on dangerous ground when he caught Martin Olsson with a late challenge after picking up an earlier booking for a foul. Asked whether he feared that Pogba would receive a second yellow card, Mourinho replied: “No, because I don’t even think that the first yellow card is so deserved. The yellow card is a little bit out of context because Jonathan [Moss, the referee] was having a certain kind of criteria that didn’t bring easy yellow cards because there were actions, especially one on [Nemanja] Matic, that is a yellow card and he decided to speak with the players and go in that direction.”

United were guilty of squandering far too many points last season, but Mourinho senses the mentality among his players has shifted this term. “In both matches, winning 1-0 at half-time, we didn’t start the second half looking like we have to keep a clean sheet to win the match. We always looked like ‘let’s at least control the game by having the ball and try to score more goals’, and we did that.

“Then players on the bench, great quality, easy for me to make changes, and good players make managers look even better.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Stuart James at the Liberty Stadium, for The Observer on Saturday 19th August 2017 17.59 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

 

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