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Mourinho's side are without a league win since a 2-1 victory against Bournemouth on November 3 and either side of securing qualification for the Champions League, they have drawn their last two league fixtures against Crystal Palace and Southampton. "I think we need a good run of results and we don't need to waste points where we shouldn't be wasting them".

Claiming once more that last season's second-placed finish "was a fantastic thing because of the qualities wer had in comparison to the quality of the other teams that are fighting for the top four", Jose Mourinho clearly believes that nothing near a repeat of that is possible this season.

Fast forward to the latter stages of his tenures at football clubs and we get a different kind of Jose Mourinho. "We are going to be in difficulties again to build the team", he said. "We..."

"Mourinho's pessimistic words appear a transparent plea to the club's board to secure January reinforcements, with the transfer window less than a month away, and he doubled down on his performative glumness, adding: "[We will] try to win as many points as possible and try [to achieve] nearly the miracle of finishing fourth. "We don't need to waste points where we don't need to waste".

"There are six teams that should stay in the first six positions, season after season two of these teams are staying outside the top four".

Despite the contrast in both sides' form, I still have a feeling Manchester United will find a way to win the game. We were waiting to see who could and couldn't [play] and I think we are going to be in a similar situation.

Any questions on that subject were knocked by Mourinho at a press conference on Tuesday when he was also asked about an interview he had given to Brazilian television in which he had said the team now needed a miracle to reach the top four. It is another where I am quoted by someone else. "I don't play the game of suggestions". "Watching them on Saturday against Southampton, they look a million miles away from that [Arsenal and Tottenham]", he told the Gary Neville podcast.


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