Manchester United news: I need time like Sir Alex Ferguson to rebuild United into a great side again, says Jose Mourinho

The Portuguese reminded journalists on Wednesday that it took former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson four years to win his first major trophy after taking over at Old Trafford

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho admits he will need time like Sir Alex Ferguson to turn them into English football’s preeminent club.

Ferguson took over at United 1986 but did not win a major trophy until he lifted the FA Cup in 1990, and it would be a further three years after that until he won his first Premier League trophy.

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However, that proved to be a spur for United to become the dominant power in England as they enjoyed a period of significant success under Ferguson.

During his 26 years at Old Trafford Ferguson won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League titles.

While United are not quite at such a low ebb as having won the FA Cup under Louis van Gaal last season, they have not won the Premier League since Ferguson’s last season in 2012-13 while their last success in Europe came under the Scot in 2007-08.

Mourinho only took over from Van Gaal in May and claims it may take time for his managerial skills to have an impact at the club.

“The best manager in the history of the Premier League needed a few years to build such a successful period,” Mourinho said ahead of United’s Europa League clash with Feyenoord.

“If the best needed that time, means that the others need also need that time.

“The job is as difficult as I was expecting. I was not expecting the job was easy. I said that I wanted to try to win the PL but at the same time I thought that was a risky approach with my words.

“My words were not defensive with the risk. I knew it was going to be very difficult.”

Mourinho revealed that he has ambitions to manage United beyond his current three-year contract, but only performances on the pitch warrant it.

“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 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.

He added: “The three-year contract I was given is a fair period of time to give to me to where we want to be. Three years is not just about the transfer window, though.

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United have made a mixed start to the season under Mourinho (Getty)

“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 manger. A person’s routines, dynamics of how they work.

“That’s 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.”

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