Press Conference: Benfica vs. Manchester United


Jose Mourinho has dismissed reports that he could exit Old Trafford in the near future.

Speaking to the media ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League tie against SL Benfica, Mourinho pledged his commitment to the Manchester United cause but admitted this won’t be his last role in the game.

Nonetheless, the Portuguese was keen to confirm that his immediate future lies at the Theatre of Dreams.

Upon his return his native Portugal to face former employers Benfica, Mourinho clarified that he is “at Manchester United and I have contract, and that is it” when questioning about his recent comments.

The 54-year-old praised PSG over the weekend, noting the Parisians youthful project as one he admires, but claims he is “not signing a new five-year contract and I am not leaving for PSG.”

Those contract quotes stem from alternate reports that suggest the manager is due to sign a new long-term deal to reflect last season’s achievements of three trophies and a return to the Champions League.

Such competition is where Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof will also return to face former teammates, with the latter’s fellow defender Marcos Rojo travelling with the squad to Western Europe.

During his press conference, however, Mourinho turned down the prospect of including Rojo in his matchday squad, but made the promising claim that: “… probably in two weeks, Marcos is ready to play.”

Another centre-back who remains sidelined is Eric Bailly who was injured with his national team Ivory Coast during last week’s international break.

These injuries, coupled with Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick’s absences saw Mourinho joke that his team will be straight forward to determine by outsiders.

“We have so many injuries, I think that should be something you can view almost with a guarantee of success because our options are so few that it is easy for you to guess the XI,” stated Mourinho.

Despite contrasting starts that has since United boasts two wins from two whereas Benfica have lost both of their encounters, United’s boss was eager to praise the reigning Portuguese champions whilst expecting a tough test for his side.

“I think the players were convinced that the results are not the real indicator of the value of team,” noted Mourinho, before adding that “Benfica have a good team and will be tricky adversaries for us.”

Reflecting that a point wouldn’t be the worse result, Mourinho advised his sole objective was to qualify and that “this is a match we want to try and win” and to “play our own game, our own match and try to get a good result.”

Amongst the recent forest fires that have devastated Portugal over recent days, Mourinho paid homage to the victims.

“Football loses strength and meaning in the face of tragedies like this. My deep thoughts go to all the family members who lost their lives and send strength to all of those who need it.”

This sad reality as Mourinho put it certainly puts a 90 minute of game football into perspective and we hope that the great nation of Portugal can pull through this difficult time and our thoughts are also with them during this time.

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