Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has stated that the era of the club dominating the Premier League is over.
Under the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson, United were the team to beat with 13 EPL titles under the legendary Scot, while Mourinho himself won two straight titles in his first spell at Chelsea.
Speaking at Friday’s press conference ahead of United’s Boxing Day home game against Sunderland, Mourinho said: “When I took over, I knew the direction of the Premier League, and I knew that periods of domination belong to the past because the Premier League was already going in an incredible direction and it is what it is now.”
Mourinho expressed delight that most of his defenders are available.
He said: “Central-defender position we have now all of them, Chris Smalling is back, Eric Bailly is back, Daley Blind is fine, Marcos Rojo is fine.
“It’s a position where it’s important to have stability in options. We were in a difficult position a couple of months ago, but now we’re safe.
“We know Bailly is going to the African Cup of Nations in January, but for the next three matches we know what we have.”
Asked if Schneiderlin wanted to leave, Mourinho said: “Yes. He opened his heart a couple of times.
“He is a great professional. A fantastic boy. If he is playing regularly I have a right to say no way. If not he is not playing regularly I have no right to say you are not going anywhere.
“If the offer is right and our board thinks the offer is good, I would not stop him to go.”
On the winning mentality at Manchester United, Mourinho said:”Here, I have felt people with open arms. It’s not just a very calm and intelligent board and owners, they know what they want, they have big experience already and they’re very calm and pragmatic, I have good conditions to work.
“The players and people that surround me, I felt some sadness because people that love football obviously want to be successful and everyone tries to help to go in the same direction.”