Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho insists the side must return to the Champions League because the competition is “empty” without them.
The Red Devils will be missing out on Europe’s biggest party for the second time in three seasons, and Mourinho, who won his first piece of silverware as United boss with a 2-1 win over champions Leicester in Sunday’s Community Shield, says they need to return to their “natural habitat,” Mirror reports.
“Man United has to be in the Champions League. I think that the Champions League is empty when Man United is not there,” he said.
“Imagine the Champions League without Man United, Real Madrid, Barcelona. There are a certain numbers of clubs that make it not a Champions League without these clubs. That’s Man United and their natural habitat.”
However, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss has made it clear it isn’t enough just to finish in the Champions League places, stating that his lads must be among the title contenders as the season progresses.
“I wouldn’t be happy with just finishing in the top four,” added Mourinho.
“I would be happy with that but plus a greater evolution in the team in terms of our evolved football. Opening the door for in the next couple of years back to winning titles.”
As always, the Portuguese has one target for his side ahead of the new season: to win every game.
“I don’t like to go to the players and tell them ‘let’s try to finish in the top four’ – let’s try to win every game. We don’t and we know that, especially in this country, at this moment it is impossible for anyone.
“But to have that as a starting point, let’s go to every game and try to win every game. But I think a big club like we are, we need to have this mentality.”