Jose Mourinho is setting up his Manchester United side to flourish in the latter stages of the season, according to former-Red Paul Ince.
The Portuguese manager may be looking to ensure a strong finish from his side, suggested Ince, with the Reds still in the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup.
A 0-0 draw against Sevilla away from home means Man United need any kind of win at Old Trafford in the second leg in a couple of weeks time to ensure progress in Europe’s elite club competition. Meanwhile, United beat Huddersfield Town comfortably with two goals from Romelu Lukaku and will face Brighton & Hove Albion in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
Mourinho has four European trophies to his name and countless domestic cups. His CV is not in doubt, but United don’t look capable, at this stage, of winning the Champions League and are too far off Manchester City to compete for the Premier League title.
Ince has backed the United boss to command a late charge in all competitions, but particularly in Europe, from his players.
“If there is one manager that can secure a Champions League win, it’s Mourinho,” Ince said. “He’s a master of winning trophies and succeeding in Europe is his forte. I can appreciate why people are underestimating his side, but they’d be fools to do so.”
Speaking to Paddy Power, Ince suggested similarities between Mourinho’s United and Germany on the international stage, who are often unimpressive in early stages of tournaments and in qualifying before having great success later on.
“I wonder whether he’s [Mourinho] setting United up to be a bit like the German national side,” Ince pondered, “where they’re quiet in the early stages of the competition and when it gets to the quarters, they turn it on.”