Mourinho goes in depth on first year at Roma, his future, and more

José Mourinho released a lengthy interview to Sky Sports where he went in depth about his relationship with Roma veterans Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chris Smalling as well his own future at the club and more, including transfer market rumours about Nemanja Matić.

“We [Mkhitaryan] won together three titles [Community Shield, League Cup, Europa League] at Man United, unfortunately the last three titles of Man United. I say ‘unfortunately’ because, yes, I like the club very, very much and I wish the club the best.”

“We won three titles together so everything went well. In the second season, we were together was a little bit different.”

“The thing that makes me really happy was because in the beginning people try to go on a negative and say, ‘Miki with Jose has no chance, Jose is the kind of guy when things go wrong never go well again’, it was proven exactly the opposite.”

“We were very mature, honest with each other at that time even with Mino (Raiola), rest in peace Mino, the discussion was very good.”

“I try always to be very honest with the players. I saw my project in Rome needing a player like Miki, I also understand the importance of Miki in the group and he’s having an amazing season.”

“He’s helping us cope with all the problems that we face as a small squad. Miki has been playing everywhere, a winger, as a 10, then we had injuries and Covid situations and he became a central midfielder which he’s never been in his life.”

“I am so happy with Miki and I’m happy with people understanding with me not everything is black or white. It’s possible that a player comes with a different relationship than it was in the past.”

“With Chris (Smalling) it’s about finding a balance on his body that allows him to be playing regularly. He’s experienced, his know-how and his qualities as a defender as there. Also tactically in relation to the system the team plays and the defensive organisation.”

“Chris is doing very well this season, playing at a level that makes me really happy about him because he is a fantastic player. He’s recognised in Italy as ‘Smalldini’, half Smalling, half (Paolo) Maldini. He’s doing amazing for us.”

On Roma’s project, Mourinho commented, “We want to try and get into Champions League but when you look a the level of investment at Inter, AC Milan and Juventus, you realise three of these spots should be closed. There is a fourth spot, last season it was Atalanta, this season it’s Napoli, can we get there next season? I think we can.”

“In this second part of the season, after the January market, we did small [changes] enough to improve the squad. I’m not as lucky as some coaches who can buy what they want. By doing things with a criteria we can improve things.”

“Next season after this year of work and evolution at every level I think we have a chance and that’s the next target for next season.”

On transfer rumours linking Nemanja Matić to Roma,

“I never like to speak about players, I don’t think it’s good for me, the club, the players. Everybody knows my relationship with Nemanja, he’s one of the guys with my trust. We won together, we fought together in United too.

“He’s a fantastic player but that’s the kind of answer that is not good for me or for the player.”

On his future: “In this moment, everything is very calm because I have two more years of contract. The club didn’t approach me to try to extend so they don’t put me in a situation of accept or don’t accept. Everything is calm, stable and that is the way it has to be.”

“I have to finish the season as best we can and 100 per cent start next season because I am not looking for a change, my people know that. I couldn’t leave the club in my second season, I couldn’t do that to the club. So next season I am here.”

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