'I don't think you should speak about title' - Jose Mourinho says Man United cannot be considered as title contenders
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has admitted his side are not contenders for the Premier League title, but insisted they will be in a better position in the table by the start of 2019.
United are nine points behind joint leaders Manchester City and Liverpool after a troubled start to the campaign, but Mourinho is eyeing up a run of games that he believes will give his side a chance to make progress.
"When you are outside the top four I don't think you should speak about title," Mourinho told reporters.
"When you are top four you can look up, see the distance, look to the fixtures, to the calendar, you can look to the situation at the moment, injuries, suspension, form and then you can feel it but in this moment we are outside top four so the point is now to get the points we need to try and be in the end of December in a better position than we are in now at this moment.
"I think by the end of December, which is the end of the first half of the Premier League (season), we are not going to be in the position we are now, will be a better position."
Read more here:
- Jose Mourinho and Roberto Martinez top list as Real Madrid continue manager hunt
- Liverpool cannot afford to blink first in the race for the title – that's why the trip to Arsenal means everything
Mourinho confirmed Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard are back to full fitness ahead of Saturday's trip to Bournemouth, as he instead the spirit in his camp is upbeat despite United's lowly 10th position in the Premier League.
"The mood is fine, our last couple of weeks was positive," he stated. "Let’s say second half against Newcastle, then the match against Chelsea. Against Juventus was really hard and the team fought hard, so was not apart from the result. A very positive game against Everton, the mood is positive, is fine.
"I think in this moment we have to focus on ourselves and to do better or get better results, I think is very difficult for example to go to Stamford Bridge and do better what we did in terms of performance, we had three points in our pocket and left with only one.
"In other matches we should have better results and until end of December we have to focus on what we have in potential, problems quality and try to go because in this moment we are outside the top four and we have to push hard and to work hard and try to get into this top four position."