Jose Mourinho admits bridging the differences between Manchester United fans and the club’s coaching staff is one of his immediate priorities in the job.
Mourinho’s appointment as Manchester United manager was officially confirmed on Friday morning on a three-year deal that could be extended until 2020.
The Portuguese coach has already told the club’s fans to forget the disappointments of the last three years as he plots to bring a period of sustained success back to the club – and he has also admitted that getting the supporters back onside is also one of his main targets.
Under his predecessor Louis van Gaal, fans’ dissatisfaction was a big disruption to his reign – and Mourinho knows that getting their 100% backing will be crucial.
“You know, I think I know what they can give me,” Mourinho said of United’s fanbase. “I think also they know what I can give them.
“Obviously the most important thing are the players and the relation of the players is the bridge with them, but I think it is very important and curious that I have played so many times against Man United and I played so many times at Old Trafford with other clubs.
“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.”
Mourinho hinted that managing the club was always a long-term ambition of his and he admits he’d deliberately gone out of his way to say nice things about the club in the media – sometimes to the annoyance of his current employers.
“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,” he recalled.