Saturday 27 August 2016

Belief and mentality can take the Reds far

Jose Mourinho says he doesn't care about being top of the table in August.

He wants the team to be there in May. 

The United boss has been clear about this since taking over the job - he is here to achieve success and it is impossible to under-estimate the impact such a positive attitude can have.

It spreads throughout the club and there is a new-found feeling within the team that the Reds can go far this season.

When watching Mourinho's Chelsea win games through sheer desire and bloody mindedness at times it was psychologically damaging when the Reds were in direct competition for trophies.

That same feeling will have travelled across the country among supporters harbouring similar hopes this term when Marcus Rashford profited from Wayne Rooney's excellent work in injury time on Humberside. 

Somewhat fittingly, a rainstorm engulfed the KCOM Stadium as the hosts had to withstand what was at times a tropical cyclone from the Reds.
There seemed to be a real calm about United - with the clock ticking, there was no panic, just wave after wave of attacks as the visitors camped in the Hull City half.

Eldin Jakupovic hadn't really been extended but there was a purpose about our play, even early on with Zlatan exuding positivity in everything he did.

The same could be said about Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford- two wonderful and match-winning substitutions designed by Mourinho to get the three points.

When Paul Pogba curled just wide from a promising position in the closing stages, it seemed like United would have to settle for a point and probably go into the derby in City's slipstream- presuming Pep's mob beat West Ham on Sunday.

Yet, I still believed, so did the travelling fans and- most importantly- the visiting players.

As long as there was still time left on the clock, United could win it.

Rooney's magic created the opening and, when Rashford scored, the euphoric joy among all of a Red persuasion was obvious.
Hull's players slumped to the turf in utter dejection after such a valiant effort but in truth they were battered into submission in the second half.

Evidently, the boss felt the same- that he always believed the goal would come.

"I know when (note the syntax- when not if) we score late people will speak about a bit of luck but this was not lucky, we know we shall lose or draw matches but the mentality has to be to win and today we showed that- it was deserved.
"We grabbed a late goal because we showed belief and we will win again."

I sense that United fans have faith, belief and confidence in the team- and the boss- again.
It is still very early days but the signs are there and, on a testing night in Humberside, this feels like a huge step back towards the days of the United of old.
Such victories feel like they are worth so much more than just the three points.... they are psychologically devastating.

We approach the international break counting down the days to the Manchester derby on 10 September.
The atmosphere at Old Trafford will be electric and the focus intense.

But the belief in the Red corner is that we can deliver. 

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