London: New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho announced his return to English football on Tuesday by reminding the world that he is a proven winner who will tell his players to forget the past three years of under-achievement and instead target success.
In a news conference at Old Trafford before 25 camera crews from around the world, Mourinho covered a wide range of issues from transfer targets to the need for Wayne Rooney to continue playing as a striker and the departure of Ryan Giggs. He seemed determined to deflect attention away from himself to "the biggest club in the world".
The 53-year-old, who described himself as "the Special One" and then "the Happy One" during similar media conferences to announce his arrivals at Chelsea in 2004 and 2013, adopted a more serious and less showy approach on Tuesday.
"I want everything. I want to win matches, I want to play well. I want to score goals, I don't want to concede goals. I want everything," he said. Improving on last year's fifth place would not be sufficient, he said, indicating that he intended to return United, who won the last of their 20 league titles in 2013, to their former position of dominance. "There are some managers who won the title 10 years ago, some have not won a title ever. The last time I won the title was one year ago. So if I have something to prove, imagine the others. "For Manchester United fans for so many years success was just routine but the last three years I want to forget.
I will never be able to work without success. I feel a bit frustrated that I am not playing Champions League. I do not hide I chase Sir Alex (Ferguson's) records in the Champions League.'' Turning to Rooney, Mourinho suggested the 30-year-old's future lay up front and not in midfield where England manager Roy Hodgson employed him in a failed experiment at the European Championship in France.
"In football there are many jobs but the most difficult to find is the guy who puts the ball in the back of the net. (Rooney) will never play 50 metres away from the goal. He will be a nine, 10, 9.5, not a six or an eight. You can tell me his pass is amazing but my pass is amazing too without pressure." Mourinho, who was out of work for five months after being sacked by Chelsea, said former United manager Ferguson had offered him two pieces of advice on joining the club: to bring an umbrella to cope with the notorious Manchester weather and a bottle of wine for them to share.
The Portuguese also addressed the sudden departure of Giggs from the club after 29 years, denying that the decision had been down to him. "It's not my responsibility that Ryan is not in club. The job Ryan wanted was the manager's job and the club decided that was the job for me. "Ryan wants to be a manager and made a decision, which was brave and honest. I would never stop him coming back, I would always say yes." Mourinho bridled at suggestions he did not promote young players, saying he had promoted 49 players from academies, but admitted he intended to sign another big-name player to bring to four the number of close-season signings at United.
"We decided four targets. From these targets, we have three. Until we don't have the fourth, we are still working hard. Myself and the structure. When we have the fourth, I will breathe." United have already signed Villarreal defender Eric Bailly and PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic while Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhityaran is on his way to the club. They have also been heavily linked with a 100-million-pound ($131.37-million) move for Juventus's Paul Pogba, their former player, but Mourinho did not say if the Frenchman was a target.
United's first game under Mourinho will be against Borussia Dortmund in the International Champions Cup in Shanghai on July 22. Their Premier League season begins with a trip to Bournemouth on August. 13.