The defender said his manager was extremely pleased with the club finishing off the job they’ve been preparing for with a win over Ajax
Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling says manager Jose Mourinho was “over the moon” with his side’s 2-0 win over Ajax in the Europa League final Wednesday.
The Portuguese manager hedged his bets, putting his stock in the club being able to win the second-tier European competition more easily than they could earn a top-four finish in the Premier League.
It paid off, with Wednesday’s win securing a spot in next season’s Champions League for the club.
“He was over the moon,” Smalling said of Mourinho.
“In all the team talks as well there was only one outcome, and that was the ‘W’, that was the big win.
“He didn’t discuss the other one and we didn’t entertain it. And right from that first few minutes when I think we were on the front foot, we didn’t look back.”
The defender was also pleased with the club climbing back into Europe’s premier club competition, claiming that it’s something that has been missed for the Manchester outfit.
“Yeah, no better feeling,” he said of the club’s Champions League return.
“The fact that we can win a cup and go straight into that group stage and hear that Champions League music next year, I think that’s what we’ve been missing.”
While Smalling and Mourinho were both elated with the win, the Manchester bombing took some of the shine off the evening, and the defender says he’s happy he could help change the headlines around the city.
“I think it was a great time to put Manchester sort of in the headlines for some of the right reasons and to show that everyone’s together. And I think you could see both sets of fans how appreciative everyone was of the minute’s silence.”