Jose Mourinho has once again hit back at his critics by suggesting anyone "with a brain" or "common sense" can see Manchester United are in transition.
nited are enduring a difficult season with rivals City champions elect some 16 points clear in the Premier League with fans and onlookers critical of Mourinho's perceived negative style of play.
That criticism only intensified in the wake of the Champions League last-16 defeat to Sevilla last week which leaves the FA Cup, where they will play Tottenham in the semi-finals next month, as their only remaining chance of silverware this term.
Mourinho has been steadfast in his defence of his record at Old Trafford over the last season and a half and launched a impassioned 12-minute monologue to that end last Friday.
And now the 55-year-old has once again moved to quell talk that United should be performing better and pushing City all the way.
"I understand the sadness of being knocked out in the Champions League, but I don't understand anything more than that," he told CNN.
"In the history of football all around the world, not just in England, you had the biggest clubs with the moments of transition, you have the biggest clubs with moments of continuous and permanent victories, and these are phases in the club."
He added: "Looking to us in the Premier League we have one team, one club clearly better prepared than us in the past few years to be first and we have 18 clubs behind us. One in front of us, 18 behind us.
"Of course, in the future we want to have 19 clubs behind us but this is the reality, and the reality is for people with a brain, with common sense, with knowledge of what sports is, we are in a moment of transition.
"And being in a moment of transition and still managing to do what we did last season, and win trophies, and to do what we are trying to do this season, which is still trying to win a trophy and trying to be second... I think we are in a good position."