Jose Mourinho described it as a “relief” to win a major trophy at Manchester United, and meet a career target, after his side beat Southampton 3-2 in a rip-roaring League Cup final.
In a forthright moment, the Portuguese revealed a hint of vulnerability as he admitted he put pressure on himself to win a trophy at every major club, and said this was a “tricky” final he had feared more than any other due to the fact his side were favourites.
Mourinho claimed his fourth League Cup to go level with Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough, and referenced the honour of that in his post-match press conference, and continued the trend of always winning that as his first piece of silverware at a job in England.
Asked about the fact he wasn’t smiling despite the win, Mourinho insisted: “I’m very happy.
“I’m very happy. I’m very happy. I’m happy for the players, the fans. I try to put myself secondary, but the truth is it was important for me. I put pressure on myself. I try to win a major trophy at every club, so to win with Manchester United is a relief. The reality is we want more.
“I don’t want to look at it as a platform. It’s something that happened. It’s one more game we now want to delete from our minds. It’s over, it’s finished, it’s a sense of relief. It’s one of those finals I don’t like.
“I like the finals I play before – Chelsea-United, Chelsea-Liverpool, Chelsea-Arsenal, Chelsea-Tottenham – because you are not favourites. You are playing against another big team. You don’t have more responsibility on your shoulders. It’s power against power.
“This game is tricky. They are Southampton, they are a growing club, but they are not Man United… I was afraid of this final more than the other ones because, the other ones, you go face to face and know another giant is on the other side.”
Mourinho especially praised Southampton, however, insisting they at least deserved extra-time.
“First of all, I feel that the man [Claude Puel] that left the table a couple of minutess ago has a reason to be really sad and really disappointed, because he did fantastic work, his team did fantastic work.
“His team deserved extra-time, so to lose minute 87, with little time to react, i think is a little bit unfair on them.
“I want these words for Southampton players, Southampton fans, as they gave us a beautiful final for the neutral, a beautiful football match.
“I feel very happy for the victory, that I did it four times, the same as the biggest one [Ferguson], the same as Mr Clough, and with the chance to win it fifth time, very happy.”