Eric Cantona is convinced Manchester United will land the first of many trophies in the Jose Mourinho era at Wembley on Sunday.
With United still fighting in the FA Cup and the Europa League, Cantona is backing Mourinho to deliver major silverware at the first attempt when they face Southampton in the EFL Cup final.
Cantona, whose signing from Leeds by Sir Alex Ferguson in 1992 was a key moment in United becoming the dominant force of the Premier League age, praised the expertise and wit of Mourinho which he believes serves as a positive influence on the players.
Cantona said: “I think they will win more than one trophy this season and the first one will be this one. Mourinho is a winner, he has won a lot of things and he is a great manager. I think United will win many things.
“The first one is important, I think. In a club like United, of course, you have the pressure of winning things so, when you win one, you have less pressure but people ask for more of course, and Mourinho doesn’t have any kind of problem with the pressure.”
The 50-year-old former striker told Man United’s website he senses a change in Mourinho since his arrival at Old Trafford last summer, believing the former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss is looking to encourage a greater verve going forward.
“I think he plays more attacking football than he used to play and he tries to understand the expectation all the time,” Cantona said. “He is a very intelligent man, very clever, and he has a great sense of humour. I always said that before he came to United.
“He takes all the pressure on him, he doesn’t care about any kind of pressure. He’s great psychologically. He takes all the pressure on him so it’s less pressure on others and so the players can enjoy.”
The same might have been said of Ferguson in Cantona’s playing days.
If there is one player at United whose influence on the current side might be comparable to that of Cantona in the 1990s, then a strong case could be made for that being Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Swede has been a huge success since his summer move away from Paris Saint Germain, and unsurprisingly Cantona is an admirer.
“He is a great player and a strong personality,” Cantona said. “He played for Milan, he played for Barcelona so he knows all the about the pressure, he understands it and he has proved that he is also a great man.”
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