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Mourinho thanks Louis Van Gaal for the United spirit
Manchester (United Kingdom): Mourinho's devastated Manchester United side face the Swansea at Old Trafford on Sunday with the manager being all praises of the spirit shown by his exhausted team.

Van Gaal, Mourinho's predecessor as the Manchester United manager, is not remembered with any fondness by the majority of this club's supporters. But Jose believes that the Dutchman really succeeded in getting together a team of very strong characters, although their tenacity is now being tested as Manchester United maintain their bid for a top-4 finish in the English Premier League and a success in the Europa League.

"The group was a nice group, honestly," said Jose, who served as a neophyte coach under then Barcelona manager Louis Van Gaal at the Spanish giants in late 1990s.

"Good people, good boys, committed people. I think Mr Van Gaal left a good group of boys with very good relations between them and I got that in my hands."

Jose Mourinho further added: "I think they missed happiness, they missed trust, they missed belief. They missed this extra bit that brings resilience, brings you fight. They have it. So, next July 9, when we meet again for next season, it's a stronger group. So the new players when they arrive will find a group more ready to go for big things," the former Chelsea manager elaborated in an enthusiastic manner.

The back breaking season, which has also seen team United win the League Cup and reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, has taken quiet a toll on the team physically.

Central defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones remain out injured for the Swansea game, with Rojo having suffered a season-ending injury in the knee ligament.

This led Jose Mourinho to joke that he might name himself in the starting side, along with youngster Tuanzebe whose total first-team experience as a footballer amounts to mere 22 minutes as a substitute against Wigan in the FA Cup.

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