Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said he is not “afraid of his responsibilities” during a 12-minute defense of his record in the wake of the Champions League exit to Sevilla.
Mourinho was criticized for his approach to the match, prompting a wide-ranging monologue in the build-up to Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Brighton.
He began by saying: “I am alive.”
“I am not going to run away or disappear or to cry because I heard a few boos,” added the 55-year-old.
Mourinho arrived at Friday’s news conference with a neat piece of green paper underneath his diary.
On it was written United’s finishing positions in every season since 2013, and how they had fared in Europe. He had the same statistics for Manchester City.
After Tuesday’s 2-1 home defeat by Sevilla, the Portuguese had said being knocked out of the Champions League at home in the last 16 was “nothing new for the club”.
The match came three days after United beat Liverpool 2-1 to strengthen their grip on second place in the Premier League.
“I’m happy with what I saw in my players after the [Sevilla] match. I’m happy that people were sad, that people were frustrated. I’m happy we were on exactly the same page,” said Mourinho.
Directly addressing the fans’ anger, he said they “have the right to their opinions and reactions, but there is something that I used to call football heritage”.
He explained “football heritage” by saying United have only reached the Champions League quarter-finals once since losing the 2011 final.
Mourinho also compared United’s recent league and European record to that of Manchester City, who have finished above United in every season since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
He said: “Do you know what is also heritage? Nicolas Otamendi, Kevin de Bruyne, Fernandinho, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero – they are investments from the past, not from the last two years.
“One day when I leave, the next Manchester United manager will find here Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic, of course David de Gea from many years ago, they will find players with a different mentality, quality, background, with a different status and know-how.
“I could be in another country with the league in the pocket, but I am here and I am going to be here, and no way am I going to change my mentality.
“I’m not going to disappear from the tunnel, running immediately; the next match, I will be the first to go out. I am not afraid of my responsibilities.
“When I was 20, I was nobody in football. I was somebody’s son, with a lot of pride, and now at 55 I am what I am. I did what I did because of work and because of talent and my mentality.”
Mourinho said he was “on the same page” as the club owners and executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, adding: “We agree on everything, on the investments. I have an amazing job to do.”