Lindelof: I have nothing bad to say about Mourinho

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Victor Lindelof said he has nothing bad to say about former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho as he praised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for bringing “presence” to Old Trafford.

Mourinho was sacked in December amid reports of dressing-room unrest and replaced by United favourite Solskjaer, who has only tasted defeat once in all competitions.

Lindelof was brought to United by Mourinho in 2017 but the Sweden defender found himself in and out of the team under the Portuguese boss, who wanted to sign a new centre-back before his departure.

The 24-year-old Lindelof has since established himself in Solskjaer’s starting XI and earned rave reviews for his performances, and the Swede insisted there is no bad blood with Mourinho.

“Look, I will be always grateful to Jose,” Lindelof told the Daily Mail. “He bought me. I have nothing bad to say about him. When he wanted to buy other defenders, it was OK. I like the competition. You don’t improve without it.

“I am lucky. I am mentally strong and can shut it all out. You want things to go well at a new club but life isn’t that easy. So if you play badly you have to work more.”

On his improvement since Solskjaer’s arrival, Lindelof said: “When he came I just wanted to show him my ability and maybe I have done that. He has picked me and now I have rhythm. I have been waiting for this.

“When you play badly and concede goals defenders get criticised. Some people like you, some don’t and that’s never been a problem for me. I know people talked about me but I didn’t let it affect me.

“Nobody will criticise me more than myself. So people can talk and it’s fine. And it’s nice to change people’s opinions.”

United have barely missed a beat since Solskjaer was appointed until the end of the season, with the Red Devils unbeaten in the Premier League and within a point of fourth-placed Arsenal ahead of Saturday’s clash against Southampton.

The club’s only defeat in Solskjaer’s tenure came in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain last month.

Asked about United looking scared prior to Solskjaer replacing Mourinho, Lindelof added: “I understand what you mean, the way it maybe looked before. When teams come to Old Trafford, we must dominate. We are Manchester United and no one is bigger than us. We must have that mentality.

“We have won a lot of games now against big teams and are on a good path. We have to stay on it.”

United have only lost one of 15 games under Solskjaer and when quizzed on what the Norwegian has changed, Lindelof replied: “He came in with this energy. Listening to his thoughts about football is an inspiration.

“Right from the start he came in with a smile. He explained what it means to play here, that was the first thing he said. I can’t find the perfect word in English but he brought a presence. Ole has just made us think and made us trust our abilities again.”

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