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'We’re better than last season and the spirit is fantastic' - Mourinho optimistic of Man Utd title challenge

23:46 BST 25/07/2017
Jose Mourinho Manchester United
The manager is confident his players will put up more of a fight in the league this season but remain outsiders to lift the trophy

Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United are candidates to win the 2017-18 Premier League title. 

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The Portuguese led United to the Europa League trophy in his debut campaign at Old Trafford, as well as the EFL Cup and Community shield. 

Cup success came at a price, however, with United finishing 24 points behind Premier League winners Chelsea in sixth place.

And though Mourinho believes there are other clubs in a stronger position to secure the title, he is optimistic of his side's chances.

“I don’t think we’re big candidates for the title, but we’re [candidates],” Mourinho is quoted by the Mirror. “But we’re better than last season and the spirit is fantastic.

"The confidence levels are good and I think the fact we had some kind of success last season also was important to relax some personalities.

“They feel more confident to go into the Champions League without being a candidate. That’s good. We went into the Europa League with the tag of favourites - and that’s not easy to have.

“I think another fact is that everybody of the top seven - because I have to put Everton in the top seven - is in Europe next season.

“Last season, Chelsea and Liverpool weren’t in Europe and that gave them a chance to be better and stronger than the others in the championship.”

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Mourinho has added Victor Lindelof to his defence ahead of the new campaign, and broke the club's transfer record in signing £75 million striker Romelu Lukaku. 

The Portuguese is keen to capture further additions, with the likes of Nemanja Matic and Ivan Perisic being strongly linked with a switch to the clubs in the coming weeks.