Matic earns Moutinho praise as United boss makes title pledge

Date published: Wednesday 9th August 2017 9:35

Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United are ready to fight for the Premier League title this season.

The Portuguese coach insisted he was happy to take the positives from Tuesday night’s 2-1 UEFA Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid in Macedonia.

And the Manchester United boss soon turned his focus to Sunday’s Premier League opener, where his expensively-assembled side welcome West Ham to Old Trafford.

Asked if United were ready for their opener and determined to challenge for the title, Mourinho said: “Yes, we deserve the rest tomorrow [Wednesday] and on Thursday we will start, we go for it with everything.

“I’m so happy to be the manager of these guys, I told them a few days ago that during my long career I never had a group that I liked so much, like I like them.

“I’m really happy to be with them and I’m going to fight with them all the way, so let’s go on Sunday. Old Trafford is waiting for us and I think Old Trafford has a reason to be behind us.”

Mourinho has spent over £150million this summer signing Romelu Lukaku, Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic and it was the performance of the former Chelsea midfielder which really caught Mourinho’s eye against Real Madrid.

“He also showed great spirit, great mentality,” Mourinho said of Matic. “He was playing really, really well against a difficult team, because they move the ball a lot and they overload many times the central area and it’s difficult to pick them up.

“But it was a very good performance from Nemanja. I think he played really well. In the moment when they were moving the ball more, he was good and in our period of dominance he was what we want him to be: moving the ball simply, giving balance and starting from the back.

“He has good experience at the highest level and stability.”

Reflecting on Lukaku’s goal and his overall performance, Mourinho continued: “It’s a difficult job to play against a team who dominate possession,” Mourinho said. “He tried. Of course he missed an open goal but he scored his goal and had a good fight against two central defenders.

“I’m happy with how he fits within an amazing group.”

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