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Mourinho makes Champions League vow for Man United

SoccerBy Sunday World
Mourinho: I think that the Champions League is empty when Man United is not there
Mourinho: I think that the Champions League is empty when Man United is not there

Jose Mourinho has made returning Manchester United to the Champions League his objective for his first season in charge at Old Trafford.

Mourinho, who was speaking exclusively to BT Sport, said that a team like Manchester United 'belong' in the Champions League and that he wanted to not only return them to the top four but he wants to also 'evolve' the team and how they play.

"Man United has to be in the Champions League," Mourinho will say in an interview to be broadcast on BT Sport 1 at 10pm tomorrow.

"I think that the Champions League is empty when Man United is not there. Imagine the Champions League without Man United, Real Madrid, Barcelona. There are a certain numbers of clubs that make it not a Champions League without these clubs. That’s Man United and their natural habitat. I wouldn’t be happy with just finishing in the top 4. I would be happy with that but plus a greater evolution in the team in terms of our evolved football." 

As for winning the Premier League, the Special One is buying himself a couple of years before naming that as a target.

He said a return to Europe's top competition would 'open the door' to winning titles 'in the next couple of years'.

Mourinho also rejected the idea that he would feel pressure at Old Trafford, saying he felt the responsibility of the job, but not the pressure.

However, the only 'difficulty' cited by Mourinho was how he was unlike his predecessor, Louis van Gaal.

"The difficulty of the job for me is that I’m so different from Mr Van Gaal," said Mourinho. "I’m not saying I’m better, I’m saying different.
 
"When we played against each other Inter against Bayern in the Champions League Final, he said our teams are very different and he is correct. When we play Manchester United against Chelsea, he was repeating the same, we are so different and for me to get a team under his ideas for two years, we are in the moment with some functional contradictions.

"The players have their own identity, but the best players find it easy to adapt to the managers ideas and principals. I am in the period where I need time, but we don’t have time, so I think during the competition we are going to have to improve and every match, with every mistake we make, with every good thing we make too, it will be our learning curve."

Watch the full interview with Jose Mourinho on BT Sport 1 from 10pm tomorrow/tonight. BT Sport is the only place to watch all four major football competitions in one place, with exclusively live coverage of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the Emirates FA Cup.