Jesse Lingard admits Jose Mourinho’s light-hearted side has taken him and the rest of the Manchester United squad by surprise.
The attacking midfielder didn’t know what to expect of the demanding Portuguese coach after he replaced Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford this summer.
But the United and England starlet says the former Chelsea boss is always happy to share a joke when the time is right.
Lingard, who scored a superb opener in the Red Devils’ 2-1 Community Shield victory over Leicester at Wembley last Sunday, is suitably impressed.
The 23-year-old said: “He’s the main coach and the main manager. He takes all the sessions and, while he wants us to work hard, he is always cracking jokes and having banter with the players, and I think that’s helped the lads bond with him.
“If you look at what he has done in the Premier League then it gives us a lot of hope and confidence for the season.”
Lingard added in Inside United: “I thought he’d (Mourinho) be very strict but, even though he works us hard and his mind is on the job at all times, he also has a joke with the players.
“He has that presence and aura about him, but you can still speak to him about anything and he will always try to help.”
United begin their Premier League campaign with a trip to Bournemouth on Sunday.