Mourinho: Carlos will be manager of the season

31st March 2018
First team

Jose Mourinho has tipped Carlos Carvalhal to save Swansea City from relegation – and says his fellow countryman will be manager of the season when he keeps his team in the Premier League.

The Swans were bottom of the table with just 13 points from 20 league games when Carvalhal was appointed at the end of December.

And despite a 2-0 defeat at Manchester United today, the Swans are now three points clear of the relegation zone after a dramatic upturn in fortunes under Carvalhal’s stewardship.

Mourinho invited Carvalhal to join him as he conducted his post-match press conference in the Old Trafford media room – and then paid tribute to the Swans boss.

With his arm around Carvalhal’s shoulder, Mourinho said with a smile: “This guy is going to keep Swansea in the Premier League and he will be the manager of the season because he did that.”

United dominated the Swans in the first half, with goals from Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez putting them in command.

But Carvalhal made two changes at the break, sending on Tammy Abraham and Tom Carroll, and the Swans improved significantly in the second period.

Abraham twice went close to dragging his team back into the contest only for David De Gea to save United on each occasion.

And Mourinho reckoned Carvalhal deserved praise for changing the game.

“In the first half, our performance was one of the best performances we have had here,” the United manager said.

“Swansea didn’t cross the halfway line because we pressed so high and so strongly.

“But the second half was different. I think first of all credit has to go to Carlos because he improved his team at half-time.

“Instead of criticising us, you should give him some credit because he changed two players, which not a lot of managers would do, and he improved his team. He created the difficulties we had.

“Also, I think the fact that we had six or seven players on international duty showed in the second half. Our intensity went down and Swansea felt they had a chance, but David made a couple of good saves.”