Jose Mourinho insists he should not be judged on whether he wins the Premier League at Man United
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has insisted he does not need to bring the Premier League title back to Old Trafford for his reign as the club's manager to be hailed as a success.
In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Mourinho may be preparing United fans for a possible setback in a title race currently being dominated by their local rivals Manchester City, who have opened up an eight point lead at the top of the table just 11 games into the season.
While Mourinho won the Premier League title on three occasions during his two spells as Chelsea manager, he appears to be suggesting the challenge is bigger than ever now as he insists his legacy at should not just be judged on whether or not he wins the Old Trafford club's 21st domestic league title.
"I signed a three-year contract and when I signed that three-year contract it was basically to try and improve the direction of the football team," he stated.
"And obviously when we want to improve the direction of the football team, it means to try and win titles which we did already last season, but when we speak about titles, everyone obviously thinks about the Premier League.
"Of course it is an objective, but to say the only way we are improving is to win the Premier League is not quite fair because the other teams, the other five or six teams, have the same objectives, the same responsibility, the same tools, they have the same qualities to do it, or even more because they have the stability over the past three years."
Those comments may surprise and possibly even concern United fans, with Mourinho's clearly believing the strength of a Premier League top six bolstered by a much improved Tottenham side has made the challenge for top spot more competitive than ever.
United fans will have been more encouraged by Mourinho's suggestion that he is eager to continue the club's tradition of giving homegrown players a chance, as he talked up the talents of emerging star Scott McTominay.
"To keep that identity means, basically, we should bring a new player from the academy every season," added Mourinho.
"You can bring someone to play 10 minutes, then the player disappears and then you can say, ‘Oh, 40 players have their debut with me’. But none of them are important.
"I think what is happening with (Jesse) Lingard and (Marcus) Rashford is now happening with Scott McTominay… because he is not going to leave the club any more.
"To follow a certain pathway is important. I am doing it with McTominay and next year, there should be another."