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Jose Mourinho says Man Utd are 'far' from being the best team in the Premier League

April 15, 2017 2:39 PM
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Jose Mourinho says Man Utd are 'far' from being the best team in the Premier League

Jose Mourinho has told Soccer Saturday Manchester United are "far" from being the best side in the Premier League, admitting that Chelsea are "a much better team".

United, who had to settle for a draw in their European quarter-final against Anderlecht on Thursday, entertain Chelsea live on Sky Sports 1 on Sunday before their attention turns back to the Europa League second leg next week.

With a place in next season's Champions League available via either a top-four league finish or victory in the Europa League final, United are still fighting on two fronts, but Mourinho says his current squad are a long way behind his former club Chelsea.

When asked by Jeff Stelling on Soccer Saturday how close Manchester United were to being the best team in the Premier League, he replied: "Far, because the best team, in the Premier League, is the team with most points.

"I know you like to criticise me. When I was winning titles with Chelsea you were criticising the style of play. At the moment you don't do it.

"Now to be the best counter-attacking team in the country is not to be criticised; it is an amazing thing. The best team at the end of the season is the one who is champions and we are far from it.

"I don't know how many points we are from Chelsea but it is obvious that this season they are a much better team than us."

Mourinho insists it is for others to judge whether his first season at Old Trafford, which has already yielded victory in the EFL Cup final, has been a success.

He said: "You can say that I won a trophy in the first season but you can forget it too soon - I don't know what is a good season for you and for me.

"For me a good season is to be ready for every match and fight for every match for the best result and to defend Manchester United's prestige.

"We are not fighting for the title, we are just fighting to finish top four. The important thing for this club is to fight for titles and the only title we can win now is the Europa League."

Mourinho admitted his players have not been training this week as they juggle the demands of the European and Premier League schedules.

"We don't train," he said. "We try and give the players the best chance to recover using our strategies.

"We work with the players who were not involved in the match and try to get some players fit but we don't train. We analyse matches, we analyse opponents but the work on the training pitch is impossible because it is just about recovery."

"It is difficult, especially for some players. For some of the boys it is not a big problem to play match after match with two days difference but for some it is more difficult, because of their nature, their DNA, it is not so easy.

"It is difficult when the team (Chelsea) we are playing have not played since last weekend, when they have had time off and time to prepare, so of course they are much better prepared than us."

United have been without Chris Smalling and Phil Jones since the last international break, when they were injured on England duty, and their loss still rankles with their manager.

He said: "It was a bad week when we lost two players from the same position and left us for six weeks with only two central defenders so they played Thursday they have to play tomorrow, they have to play next Thursday as well. So it's very had for those two boys."

Mourinho castigated his goal-shy attack after the 1-1 draw in Anderlecht branding his forwards 'sloppy' and he again bemoaned his side's inability to convert more goal-scoring opportunities.

He said: "It was more of the same in Belgium. We were well organised, had a good mentality and played better than our opponents. We take risks but we don't score enough goals and we don't win as many matches as we should.

"That has been the story of our season. In Anderlecht, I was happy because it was a positive result for the second leg but I'm getting used to us creating chances but not scoring goals to kill the game."

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