Mourinho was keen to set high expectations on his first public appearance as Louis van Gaal’s successor yesterday, claiming he refuses to ‘hide behind words or philosophies’.
The 53-year-old plans to be ‘aggressive’ in pursuit of United’s first Premier League crown since 2013.
‘It would be easy, even honest and pragmatic, from my side to focus on the last three years and the fact that we didn’t qualify for the Champions League,’ said Mourinho. ‘I would never be able to work without success. That is my nature. For many years success was just routine here and the last three years are years to forget. I want the players to forget.
‘I don’t want the players to think we have to do better. What is better? To finish fourth? To finish fourth is not the aim. I want everything. I want to play matches well, score goals, play young players and I don’t want to concede goals.’
Mourinho announced he has secured three of his four summer targets, all but confirming the £26million arrival of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who joins new signings Zlatan Ibrahimovic and defender Eric Bailly.
United also want a central midfielder, believed to be Paul Pogba. The Frenchman would cost upwards of £80m from Juventus, with Mourinho confident of landing him after Euro 2016.
The desire to re-sign Pogba is in part down to the changing role of Wayne Rooney. Mourinho said yesterday his captain will operate in a more advanced position, adding that teenager Marcus Rashford and Ibrahimovic will represent an ideal blend up front.
Mourinho added: ‘Zlatan is 34 and Marcus is 18, so divided by two is the perfect age for a football player. Our two strikers are the perfect age, because 18 is not the perfect age and neither is 34 — so I think they can be an amazing complement for each other.
‘Zlatan is Zlatan. He wins year after year. His passion for the game is incredible — a man of his age, with his c.v., to come for the biggest challenge of his career at the biggest club he has ever played for and the most difficult competition he has played in. He’s an amazing player.
‘This is the beautiful thing when you coach a player and then a few years later you have him again. It means the relationship was fantastic.
‘Maybe Rooney is not a striker any more, but with me he will never be a No 6, never playing 50 metres away from the goal. You can tell me his passing is amazing. Yes his passing is amazing, but my passing is also amazing without pressure. To be there and put the ball in the net is the most difficult thing to find. So for me he will be a nine, a 10, a nine and a half; but not a six, not even an eight.’
Mourinho also commended departing coach Ryan Giggs, saying: ‘The job Ryan wanted is the job the club decided to give me. Ryan could be what he wanted in the club. The club wanted to give him any important job. He made his decision. He was brave, he is honest.’ – Daily Mail