Jose Mourinho was very happy with how Manchester United played in their 5-2 win over Galatasaray.
Man United attacked with real intent and purpose after coming out of the blocks in the second half 2-1 down before they scored four without reply to comfortably beat the Turkish side.
Regardless of the score, Mourinho told his players to play the game with real intensity in order to focus on their fitness and get themselves as ready as possible for the new season.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho explained: “Of course. I think everyone gave everything to improve. And even with the guys who came on at 4-2, I told them to forget the result, don’t play like we are winning 4-2. ‘You need this 30 minutes to play high tempo, high intensity, forget the 4-2.’
“That’s what they all tried to do. Of course Marcus did well. Of course Ibra did show glimpses of the things he can bring us. But when I see guys like Fellaini, Martial, Schneiderlin, they trained two days and they can be here. I told them, ‘Don’t try to go with the intensity of the game, go with an intensity that makes you comfortable.’
“I prefer this way, I prefer that they are on the pitch so I am happy. I am happy with the opposition, they played already six or seven matches so they were in a higher tempo than us. I am happy with it all. And I am happy that out of such a big group we have just Timothy [Fosu-Mensah] and Chris Smalling with little injuries and apart from them, no injuries and everything looks like it’s going well.”
It’s certainly the smart way to do it. Pre-season injuries would be rife if Mourinho forced players to go with an intensity above what they found comfortable at this stage, so it’s good to hear he adopts a more measured approach and I’m sure the players appreciate it.
With that in mind, it makes performances of the likes of Marcus Rashford that bit better because you know he felt couple playing with that sort of intensity and drive, it’s natural to him and inside his comfort zone even without peak fitness levels. That bodes well for when he is fully match fit.
Everybody played their part against Galatasaray, some more than others, but with no more injury concerns we head into Wayne Rooney‘s testimonial with only two injury worries which is a good shape for the squad to be in.