SHANGHAI, China, Sporting Alert – Jose Mourinho says he’s still a long way off creating his starting team, after suffering his first defeat as Manchester United manager on Friday.
Mourinho saw his team finished second best in an unconvincing 4-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund in their International Champion Cup opener in China, but the Portugal coach wasn’t too surprised by the result.
The former Real Madrid and Chelsea boss revealed that preparing for the upcoming season with Manchester United is still a work in progress, indicating that after 15 days of pre-season training and two warm-up matches, he is still getting to know his players.
The Red Devils are still without several first players, including captain Wayne Rooney, David de Gea, Anthony Martial, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Marouane Fellaini, Matteo Darmian, Chris Smalling and Morgan Schneiderlin.
“At the moment, I’m not even creating a team,” Mourinho stressed on the club’s official website at www.manutd.com. “So many players are not here.
“We’re creating individuals’ form and trying to bring these players to a good condition. For the new signings and all of the players, they had a chance to play 45, 70 or 90 minutes.
“It’s very, very important and I can imagine it will take a long time to recover from this effort in the game.
“In this weather, in reality, at this stage of pre-season for them individually it’s good.”
Manchester United defeated Wigan 2-0 in its pre-season opener under Mourinho last weekend, but found the encounter against Borussia Dortmund a bit challenging.
The 53-year-old manager gave his thoughts on the game.
“The team with four matches in their legs against the team with one match. The team working a lot of months against us with a maximum of 15 days, some of them arrived three or four days ago. There was a huge difference in preparation,” the new boss said.
A brace from Gonzalo Castro and a goal each from Man United target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele set up the victory on Friday for the Bundesliga side, while summer signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan got off the mark for the Reds with a consolation strike in the second half.