Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that he needs more time to build a team that can emulate the dominance in English football that former manager Alex Ferguson achieved during his time at the club.
Mourinho took over from former manager Louis van Gaal in May 2016 and has seen mixed results with the former English Premier League (EPL) champions so far.
The team has generally struggled to create goals with veteran Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic the main threat in their forward line. Somewhat surprisingly, the defence has not exactly covered themselves in glory either.
In the 12 games that they have played, United have managed only 17 goals and have conceded 14. They currently lie at sixth place in the EPL table with 19 points, nine behind current league leaders Chelsea who are Mourinho's former employers.
Mourinho, however, pointed out that Ferguson took four years to win his first major trophy in English football and insisted that it may take time for his managerial skills to have an impact at the club.
Ferguson spent 26 years at Manchester United, during which he won 38 trophies, including 13 EPL titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League titles.
“The best manager in the history of the Premier League needed a few years to build such a successful period. If the best needed that time, means that the others also need that time,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by the Independent on Wednesday.
The former Chelsea and Inter Milan manager admitted that he is finding the going tough at Old Trafford, but insisted that he was prepared for the pressure of managing a big club.
“The job is as difficult as I was expecting. I was not expecting the job to be easy. I said that I wanted to try to win the EPL but at the same time I thought that was a risky approach with my words,” Mourinho said.
“My words were not defensive with the risk. I knew it was going to be very difficult.”
The 53-year-old, who has won the EPL twice with Chelsea, asserted that he wants to stay at Manchester United beyond his current three-year contract, but admitted that he will have to earn it by delivering results.
“I am in the beginning of my contract. I am in the beginning of the process. Let's go step by step,” he said..
“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.”