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Mourinho struggling to change players´ mindset post Van Gaal

Jose Mourinho says he is finding it “difficult” to alter his players’ mindsets after the Louis van Gaal regime but remains confident Manchester United will soon be “his team”.

Van Gaal left Old Trafford in May after two years in charge, with former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss Mourinho named as his successor shortly after.

The Portuguese takes charge of United for the first time in a competitive game on Sunday when they face Premier League champions Leicester City in the Community Shield at Wembley, and he admits it will take time for his methods to be fully understood.

He told reporters: “You say my teams are different to Mr Van Gaal’s and that is correct – I’m not saying better – yes my teams are different.

“It’s difficult to change the dynamic. It would be easier to have 22 new players and start from zero.

“For two years they had principles and I have to change them. There are things in their brain that are automatic and that is difficult to change.

“My team is going to be my team.”

Mourinho admitted the season’s curtain-raiser will be a useful fitness exercise for those that have not played much in recent weeks.

He added: “I think especially for the players that were involved in last season, it must have a meaning.

“To play in the Community Shield, you need to be champion or you need to win the FA Cup, and they won the FA Cup. Of course, we are going to try to win it.

“Of course, we have six changes instead of three, so that gives me the chance to give minutes to some people. It also gives me the chance to play with some players that I know cannot play 90 minutes, because they have no condition to play for 90 minutes, so it will be a little bit of everything.

“The number of matches [in pre-season] is not enough – the game we didn’t play against Manchester City is really bad for us. We need to train, we need to play, we need minutes for the players.

“One thing is to start five weeks ago, like some of them, and another thing is to start one week ago – it is completely different. But the way we work we try to bring them on as fast as we can. I won’t say to top form but to a level where they are ready to compete. That is the reality of modern football.”

Chris Smalling and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are set to feature against the Foxes, with Mourinho saying: “They are fine now. They have recovered and they are training with the group as normal, so they are fine.

“Everybody needs minutes – that is the reality. We had so little time to play and Smalling is a player who has not even played one minute. But it is a little bit the same for everyone.” 

Fri 5 Aug, 2016
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