When he walked off at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season, would he have taken needing a point from the final game to secure second place in the Premier League?
“It was a lot of months ago,” he smiled. “Maybe we’d say, ‘we sign for that, quick!’”
We were beaten 1-0 by United that day. Since then, we’ve lost just once on our travels in the Premier League, taking a record of two defeats in 18 matches on the road to St James’ Park on Sunday.
“For that, we need to be happy, to feel proud about the whole season but always to remember we can do better and need to do better next season,” stated Mauricio. “We need to improve. We need to show we are an ambitious squad.”
Below: Mauricio previews our final match of the season with Spurs TV
As we all know, we now need a point against Newcastle to secure second place in the Premier League, our highest league finish since 1963.
“After the Chelsea game maybe we got the feeling , ‘this is hard, we’re out of the race for the title’ and we started to feel disappointed,” continued Mauricio. “Maybe we need to turn around this feeling because we need to see that the season was fantastic.
“But it happened and we’re all human.
“It’s important to try to win the last game, to keep second place and we will then be able to look back and recognise it was a fantastic season.”
Newcastle’s relegation fate was sealed by Sunderland’s win against Everton on Wednesday night.
“It’s difficult to know what will happen,” said Mauricio. “You always feel sorry when people suffer, in this case Newcastle supporters, players and staff. It’s always a tough and a difficult moment.
“We will show respect to the people and the players of Newcastle, they deserve our respect, it’s a tough moment for them but it’s an important game for us.
“We need to focus only on us and we’re all determined to get that second place.”