‘Top level’ Mourinho too young to retire

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Jose Mourinho has pledged to return to football at a “top level” a month on from being sacked by Manchester United.

“I want to coach,” Mourinho told BeIN SPORTS. “I am too young, I am in football for a long, long time, but I will be 56 in a couple of weeks and am really too young.

“Where I am going to stay is where I belong, I belong to top football. I belong to top-level football and (that) is where I am going to be.”

The English giants have thrived since the Portuguese’s departure, winning all six of their games under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

That is in start contrast to the form under Mourinho that saw United fall 19 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool after just 19 games before he was let go after two-and-a-half years in charge.

Mourinho’s time at Old Trafford was riddled with clashes with key players, most notably Paul Pogba.

The French World Cup winner was one of United’s first signings after Mourinho was appointed for a then world-record £89 million in 2016.

But Pogba was dropped for Mourinho’s final three Premier League games in charge.

“The phrase I kept with me from (former United manager) Sir Alex Ferguson was, ‘the day a player is more important than the club, goodbye’. Not anymore,” added Mourinho.

“The manager is there to coach them, the manager is not there to keep the discipline at any cost.

“The structure must be made, the structure must be there to protect the manager and for the players to feel that everything is in place and that they are not going to arrive into a situation where they feel more powerful than they used to be.”

Not only have United’s results picked up under Solskjaer, but the attacking brand of football employed by the Norwegian is an embodiment of that he knew as a player at Old Trafford for 11 years under Ferguson.

The Red Devils have scored 17 goals in the last six games.

However, Mourinho also turned on those who have criticised his far more cautious approach, claiming he deserved to be respected like Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti for his success in a glittering coaching career.

“It is very easy to play well and not win, it is very easy to be behind a certain idea of a certain football without results.

“The people that win and the people that win consistently — because you can win isolated and then disappear — has obviously a different idea about that.

“If you speak about Guardiola, Ancelotti, about one where obviously I belong, that have a career of victories for a long, long period, where are the young ones with a real impact in terms of results? Where are they?”