Jose Mourinho has insisted that finishing second is a “more than great” achievement for Manchester United this season.
Wins over Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea in the Premier League this year have ensured United have remained in second place without interruption.
United have all but secured the ‘best of the rest’ honour despite defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion last night. They need just four points from their last two games – assuming Liverpool don’t drop points.
And Mourinho, speaking soon after the defeat to Brighton, noted that finishing second was a very good achievement for this team.
“So probably we are not as good individually as people think we are and I keep saying if we manage to finish second it’s great, it’s more than great,” he said. “But now we need four points and we must try to get them.”
In other words, Mourinho doesn’t believe for a second that this team is actually good enough to finish in the runners up spot, let alone as champions.
It feels as if the Portuguese has become growingly distrustful of certain players this year – sceptical of their ability to reach the level he has always demanded throughout his career.
You sense the manager will not hold back with making changes to this squad over the summer.