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Like Sir Alex Ferguson, I need time to revitalise Manchester United: Jose Mourinho

By Timothy Abraham

Published 24/11/2016

All smiles: Wayne Rooney and Jose Mourinho joke with sports therapist Rod Thornley (centre)
All smiles: Wayne Rooney and Jose Mourinho joke with sports therapist Rod Thornley (centre)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho admits he will need patience like that given to Sir Alex Ferguson to turn them into English football's pre-eminent club.

Ferguson took over at United in 1986 but did not win a major trophy until he lifted the FA Cup in 1990, and it was a further three years until he won his first league title.

However, that proved to be the spur for United to become the dominant power in England as they enjoyed a period of significant success under Ferguson.

During his 26 years at Old Trafford, Ferguson won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions Leagues.

While United are not quite at such a low ebb having won the FA Cup under Louis van Gaal last season, they have not won the Premier League since Ferguson's last season in 2012-13 while their last success in Europe came under the Scot in 2007-08.

Mourinho only took over from Van Gaal in May and, speaking ahead of United's Europa League clash with Feyenoord, claims it may take time for his managerial skills to have an impact at the club.

"The best manager in the history of the Premier League needed a few years to build such a successful period," Mourinho said. "If the best needed that time, it means that the others also need that time.

"The job is as difficult as I was expecting. I was not expecting the job was easy. I said that I wanted to try to win the Premier League but at the same time I thought that was a risky approach with my words.

"My words were not defensive with the risk. I knew it was going to be very difficult."

Mourinho revealed that he has ambitions to manage United beyond his current three-year contract, but only performances on the pitch will warrant it.

"I am in the beginning of my contract. I am in the beginning of the process. Let's go step by step," explained the Portuguese.

"If you ask me would I like to be successful in these three years, would I like to stay here for more time than these three years, then yes.

"Because I am in the club that I want to be at. So yes, I would love it. But I also have to deserve that.

"Let us see the evolution of my results. And if one day the club thinks I deserve to stay then I will be very happy and proud about that. I am just in the beginning."

Mourinho accepts, though, that United fans will expect him to put some silverware in the cabinet sooner rather than later although he is completely focused on putting his imprint on the squad.

The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan boss added: "The three-year contract I was given is a fair period of time to give to me to try and get to where we want to be. Three years is not just about the transfer window, though.

"It's not just about that. It's about my relationship with the players, my understanding of the players, the understanding of the players of my personality as a manager. A person's routines, the dynamics of how they work.

"That's to be key. It's all about that.

"But if you ask me if I am waiting for my third year in the club to have good results then no, I am not waiting.

"I am going to immediately try to do my best to get the results we want."

Belfast Telegraph

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