Jose Mourinho has explained the reasons behind his mutest celebrations following Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Southampton in the League Cup final, noting that the club needs to fight for more over the next few months.
A sensational brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, intersected by another Wembley goal for Jesse Lingard, was enough to hand Man United their first League Cup win since 2010.
The Portuguese, in spite of the game’s dramatic finish, was notably muted in the aftermath and hardly even mustered a smile as he lifted his first major trophy as United manager.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho insisted that he was happy but determined to extract more from his players in the coming months and years.
“I’m very happy. I’m very happy. As I was saying before it’s important for the fans, for the club, for the players,” he said.
“I always try to put myself in the secondary position but the reality is that it is also important for me. I put a lot of pressure on myself, I wanted very much to win a major trophy with every club and by doing that with Manchester United it’s quite a sense of relief because it was a big target for me to win a trophy with Manchester United.
“But the reality is we want more, my contract is long, I have two more years plus this one, so hopefully I can win something and this season I know it’s difficult but the reality is that we have to try and fight for more.”
When Liverpool claimed the League Cup in 2012, the exuberant nature of Kenny Dalglish’s celebration sent out a message. This was, you could tell, the zenith of what he would achieve – a lasting relic from an otherwise underwhelming spell as Liverpool manager.
But you could tell that Mourinho, a double Champions League winner, was hesitant to acknowledge that an underserved League Cup win over Southampton was the limit of what this side can achieve under his tutelage. The 54-year-old will demand much more from his side in the future, and supporters will just hope that they continue to reciprocate and push for further success over the next few months.