Mourinho: I knew this was going to be difficult
Written by Uthy on September 3, 2018
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he knew this Premier League season would be difficult and nothing has changed in light of recent results.
After losing to Brighton and Tottenham, United must avoid a third consecutive defeat against Burnley on Sunday.
“I said that [it would be difficult] in the summer before the competition started,” said Mourinho. “It’s not especially now. Two defeats are two defeats. We still have 35 matches to play. It’s not because we lost six points that this is going to change.
“I knew this was going to be difficult because I knew that last season was going to be very, very difficult.”
Mourinho has been frustrated by United’s summer transfers as only Fred, Diogo Dalot and reserve goalkeeper Lee Grant arrived. But he insists only winning will get the club back on track.
“Win at Burnley. Then win against Watford. That is the target we have,” he added.
“We have matches to play every week and the target is always to win. We know that in the Champions League, we have to play the biggest candidate in Juventus. They were always a big candidate but they transformed themselves into the biggest candidate.
“They don’t hide the fact their investment made was really to win the Champions League. But even against that big team, we are going to try to win.
“Last season we had a fantastic start and we won the first three matches. We got nine points from three matches, scoring 10 goals.
“Then we lost a couple of matches. Maybe this time we started with two defeats and who knows if we will have a good run that gives us consecutive victories and consecutive points.”
Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri has suggested that the defensive organisation of Serie A teams explains why Cristiano Ronaldo is yet to score for the Old Lady.
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to break his scoring duck for the club after the international break.
Ronaldo, 33, has yet to score for his new club after arriving this summer from Real Madrid in a €100 million move. Juventus beat Parma 2-1 on Saturday night, with goals from Mario Mandzukic and Blaise Matuidi, and Allegri believes his star forward just needs time to adjust.
“Italian football presents different problems and it takes time,” he said. “He’s not getting the rub of the green at the moment either — the ball is not bouncing right for him or he’s shooting just off target.
“We’ll all be fresher after the break and that’s when the real season starts.”
Allegri insisted that Serie A presents different issues to a player who has only played in Portugal, Spain and England previously.
“Serie A is a league where the teams defend carefully,” he added. “I don’t want to say that it’s better than other leagues in Europe or not. Let’s just say that the teams are very strong in defence and the coaches are very good.
“They study every match to try not to concede space to the other teams. Everyone puts Serie A down but it’s very difficult for a player to score 40 goals a season. [Gonzalo] Higuain did it once, but was an extraordinary feat.
“Usually the top scorer in Italy scores 26 or 27 goals. And usually the top scorer in Italy never wins the title. So maybe it’s better for us.”