Jose Mourinho to set aside past at Manchester United
Manchester United are preparing for an exciting new chapter as new season approaches.
Louis van Gaal'sstyle of play left many at Old Trafford underwhelmed, with few tears shed - and even fewer eyebrows raised - when the board wielded the axe just days after the Wembley triumph.
The inability to secure Champions League football and get fans on their feet left the club facing an identity crisis, which United have quickly gone about rectifying - and not just by spending wildly.
The style and substance missing under Van Gaal and predecessor David Moyes saw the club belatedly turn to the man overlooked to follow Sir Alex Ferguson's success-laden reign, Jose Mourinho.
"I think by the motivational point of view it is very important to forget the past three years and to focus on good times," Mourinho said.
"I think that's what everybody wants at the club, it is what every fan around the world wants.
"But at the same time I think it is intelligent to understand that times are different and realities are different.
"I don't think it's possible for Man United to win so much in the next 20 years than it happened in the past 20 years. I don't think it's possible, times change.
"There was a very important evolution in our Premier League and I think that's very, very difficult, but sometimes I think to repeat year after year what happened in the past three, I don't think that's Man United, too, so I want to be positive.
"I want to bring the motivational levels up and bring the confidence back, but being intelligent and know that the reality we face in the Premier League is different than 10, 20 years ago."
The Premier League is, though, a challenge United look far better placed for than this time last year, both in terms of attitude and aptitude.
Mourinho has quickly gone about drilling his side in pre-season to change the squad's "profile", acquiring a new spine for a side already boasting some fine individual talents.
Exciting central defender Eric Bailly, creative midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and star turn Zlatan Ibrahimovic have all arrived, while a world-record move for Paul Pogba is being worked on as United look to complete the jigsaw with a talented central midfielder.
Such acquisitions has led to a flood of money on United winning the Premier League title - something you would not bet against with the self-anointed 'Special One' at the helm.
"I'm not going to hide behind three bad seasons or two seasons not even with fourth place," Mourinho added.
"No, I want to win the title and I want my players to feel it. If at the end of the season anyone is better than us, then great. But now in this moment before the flag to start the race, I'm not going to say we don't want to win."