Jose Mourinho began his Manchester United reign by claiming that the club have been too limp with low expectations since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
The Portuguese was unveiled as Louis van Gaal’s successor on Tuesday and had no intention of playing down the magnitude of the club’s failure since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Mourinho aims to win the Premier League during his first campaign in charge and took a swipe at Van Gaal in the process, claiming he would not hide ‘behind words or philosophies’.
He could not resist taking a calculated dig at old foe Arsene Wenger and suggested United’s promotion of youth over the last 12 months was purely down to injuries.
The 53-year-old was clear in that he would not tolerate settling for second-best and all but announced the signing of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Armenian forward is expected to be confirmed this week for a fee in the region of £26million.
‘I was never very good at hiding behind words and philosophies,’ Mourinho said inside Old Trafford’s Europa Suite.
‘I was always much more aggressive in my approach, with the risks that can bring, and it would be easy and even honest and pragmatic to focus on the last three years – on the fact that we don’t qualify for the Champions League and so on.
‘I could be quite pragmatic to say “let’s work and try and be back to the Champions League, try and be back to the top four”.
‘I prefer to be more aggressive and say we want to win.
‘What is playing well? It is scoring more goals than the opponents, conceding less, making your fans proud because you give everything and you win. It is everything at the same time.
‘I want everything. Of course we are not going to get everything but we want to. For many years success was just routine. I want the players to forget the last three years.
‘I don’t want the players to think we have to do better and finish fourth. Finish fourth is not the aim.
‘I would never be able to work without success. That is my nature and I have always to find the reasons why I have always many questions towards myself and the people working with me. That is my nature.’
United, he said, had identified four areas of improvement this summer and a fourth player – believed to be Paul Pogba for £80million – would be on the way. Mourinho was insistent he wanted that capture completed sooner rather than later.
‘We decided four targets. From these four, we have three and until we don’t have the fourth, we are still working hard, myself, the structure, Mr Woodward, the owners, we are working hard. We are getting the players we want.’
Mourinho also put the brakes on United captain Wayne Rooney’s conversion into a midfielder, which was started by Van Gaal and taken up by Roy Hodgson with England.
With 245 club goals, four shy of Sir Bobby Charlton’s record, to Rooney’s name, Mourinho hinted that he thought the player’s best position remained among the forwards.
But he did appear to rule out using Rooney as a striker following the high-profile arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a free transfer last week.
‘It is normal that a player of this age changes a little bit,’ said Mourinho. ‘But you will never change the natural appetite of putting the ball in the net.
‘Maybe he is not a striker, not a No 9 any more, but for me he will never be a No 6, playing 50 metres from the goal.
‘You can tell me his pass is amazing but my pass is also amazing without pressure.
‘To be there and put the ball in the net is the most difficult thing. For me he will be a nine, a 10, a nine and a half but never a six or an eight.’


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