Manchester United midfielder Antonio Valencia has praised the manager and new players for the improved atmosphere in the team and has revealed that now United are strong enough to challenge for every trophy.
The Red Devils secured their fifth EFL cup in history and their first trophy under Jose Mourinho when they beat Southampton 3-0 in the final last week. Valencia believes this has given the team a boost in confidence to pursue more success.
“This is the mentality that we have – that trophy has given us much confidence.” he said. “We are thinking about these three trophies. I think we can do it. We have to realise we are Manchester United and that we can go on to win these three trophies.
“We haven’t given up hope this year. We’ll still fight for the league this season but if we can’t do it this year then we go into next season and we will fight for the league.”
Manchester United has undergone turbulent times since Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 with both ‘new’ managers David Moyes and Luis van Gaal failing to bring the club to past glory. Valencia, however, who’s played under Ferguson, believes Mourinho brings a similar vibe.
“I think it’s the same atmosphere [as with Alex Ferguson]. We have that security of playing under a top manager. It’s something you can definitely say. They can each have their own individual style but both of them are obviously fantastic managers.
“I think a lot has changed. The atmosphere – we play with more confidence, with more happiness, and with more responsibility. When you bring in new players, top-quality players and that changes the atmosphere of the team.
“I think we’re a lot happier. We still have that responsibility on our shoulders, but you can say a lot has changed.”
The Red Devils are currently unbeaten in 16 games and occupy the sixth position, five points behind second-place Tottenham Hotspur.
Valencia continued: “I think the fear factor we have to create ourselves; we have to put the feat into teams every time they come to Old Trafford. They have to feel the pressure, that we are playing well, doing things well, playing with responsibility and we are pressing them.”
Valencia signed for Manchester United in 2009 as he is looking to complete his seventh season with the club.