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Sunday 11 December 2016

'I didn't force Giggs out of Old Trafford' - Jose

New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho poses at Old Trafford yesterday. REUTERS/Andrew Yates
New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho poses at Old Trafford yesterday. REUTERS/Andrew Yates

Jose Mourinho insists he is not to blame for Ryan Giggs’ departure from Manchester United.

And the new United manager promised not to waste the goalscoring talents of Wayne Rooney as he conducted his first press conference at Old Trafford since succeeding Louis van Gaal.

The long-serving Giggs left United at the weekend after almost 29 years as a player and coach at the club.

Former Chelsea boss Mourinho says he would have been happy for Giggs, who spent two years as assistant manager to Van Gaal, to stay in some capacity but the Welshman himself wanted to move on.

Mourinho said: “It is not my responsibility that Ryan is not in the club. The job Ryan wanted is the job the club decided to give me. It is not my fault. Ryan wanted to be Man United manager and the the club, for reasons only the owners, Mr Woodward, the board can tell you, decided the job was for me.

“From this moment Ryan wants to be a manager, like in 2000 when I decided I wanted to be a manager. For many of us we start as assistant coaches and then arrives the moment where we make a decision. Ryan made his decision.

“When you say did I offer him a job, could he be my assistant - he could be what he wanted in the club. The club wanted to give him any important job in the club. But he made his decision, a decision where he needed to be brave.

“Good luck, and if one day he wants to come back while I am here, I will never stop him coming back. I will always say yes if the club asks my opinion.

“If one day the club offers him the chance to become manager, I think it will be something natural and the consequence of his success in his managerial career.”

Mourinho accepts United captain Rooney may no longer have some of the edge of his youth but does not believe he should be deployed in midfield.

That had begun to happen under Van Gaal and the 30-yearold also played in a deep role for England at Euro 2016.

Mourinho said: “Players change during the years. It is normal that a player at this age changes a little bit.

“But there is something that will never change, which is the natural appetite to put the ball in the net.

“So maybe he is not a striker any more, maybe not a number nine any more, but with me he will never be a number six. He will never be someone playing 50 metres away from the goal.

“Yes, his passes are amazing but my passes are also amazing with no pressure. To put the ball in the net is the most difficult thing to find so, for me, he will be a number nine, a 10, a nineand- a-half - but not a six, not even an eight.”

Failure

On his Chelsea failure last season he added: “I was in trouble for the last five months: the first month was fine, the second month was not so good and after the second month it was a disaster.

“I will never be able to work without success - that is my nature. I always have to find the reasons why I have so many questions.

“That is why I could not approach this job in a defensive point of view by saying the best we did was fourth and the FA Cup. I can’t go there.

“In the last three years (under David Moyes and Van Gaal) I want to forget. I don’t want the players to start by thinking we have to do better.

“Doing better is to finish fourth. I want to be aggressive - we want to win.”

Mourinho has already started the rebuilding effort at Old Trafford by bringing in defender Eric Bailly, striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and has a deal lined up for Borussia Dortmund playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan. He believes he needs one more signing to make United effective again.

“I’m a manager that likes specialists. We decided on four targets; from this four we have three (Mkhitaryan is not yet confirmed however).

“Until we have the fourth we are still working hard.

“When we have the fourth I breathe, we all breathe, and then we are stable.”

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