Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will need time like his storied predecessor Alex Ferguson to turn the club into a dominant force again, he said on Wednesday.
“The best manager in the history of the Premier League needed a few years to build such a successful period,” said Mourinho.
“If the best needed that time, it means that the others also need that time.”
– ‘Messi belongs to Barcelona’ –
“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. So yes, I would love it. But I have also to deserve that.
“Let us see the evolution of my result. And if one day the club thinks I deserve (it), 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 focused on putting his imprint on the squad.
“The three-year contract I was given is a fair period of time to give to me to where we want to be,” he said. “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 player, the understanding of the players of my personality as a manager. A person’s routines, dynamics of how they work.
“That’s got to be key. It’s all about that. But if you ask me if I am a waiting for my third year in the club to have good results, no, I am not waiting. I am going to immediately try to do my best to get results.”
Mourinho gave short shrift to suggestions United might try to lure Lionel Messi to the club from Barcelona.
“Lionel Messi is every season the same story,” he said. “Every season he is going to leave and he never does.
“I hope he never leaves. He belongs to Barcelona. The beautiful thing for him would be to start and finish at Barca.”
United have no fresh injury concerns ahead of their clash with Feyenoord at Old Trafford, with defenders Chris Smalling (broken toe) and Eric Bailly (knee) and midfielder Marouane Fellaini (calf) all set to miss out.