(Reuters) - Manchester United can look forward to “better years” after winning the League Cup and qualifying for the Europa League semi-finals, manager Jose Mourinho has said as he begins to take stock of his first season at the Premier League club.
It has been a mixed season so far for United, who won their first trophy under Mourinho but also face a fight to finish in the top four of the Premier League and claim an automatic Champions League spot.
United can also secure a place in Europe’s elite club competition by winning the Europa League, where they face Spanish side Celta Vigo in the first leg of the semi-final on May 4.
“I would say this can be the first season of the next five or six or seven. It can be the first season of better years,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
”And the reality is even in the first season of better years we won already and we have already the chance to do good things until the end of the season.
“If we manage to win the Europa League and in August to play the European Super Cup against the Champions League winner, it will be magnificent.”
Mourinho also denied that his recent public criticism of defender Luke Shaw and striker Anthony Martial was a psychological tactic aimed at inspiring them.
”It is not a psychological approach,“ Mourinho added. ”It is common sense. When you give everything you have, I cannot demand more from you.
“Some other guys don’t give everything they have so that’s the point. They have to and when they do it, I‘m happy with them, it doesn’t matter how they perform.”
United play Manchester City, who occupy fourth spot in the league, on Thursday.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford