Jose Mourinho believes replicating the winning mentality of Manchester United legends like Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Bryan Robson is key to bringing success back to Old Trafford.
The end of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign was always likely to be a challenge, but few could have predicted the trouble United would have in even qualifying for the Champions League.
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal’s tenures brought frustration to a club synonymous with success, twice failing to reach the top four over a three-year period in which last season’s FA Cup represented the only major trophy.
Mourinho’s summer appointment brought an injection of excitement to Old Trafford, yet consistency has been hard to come by and United enter the weekend seventh in the Premier League.
“In three months it is not so easy to change the most difficult thing to change, which are personalities,” the Portuguese said ahead of Saturday’s match at home to Burnley. “The style of play, even with mistakes, you can change here and there.
“But at the psychological level it takes more time, especially if you go against the nature of some of the personalities when you don’t have a very experienced squad where everybody knows how to win, what is needed to win, that consistency level you must have psychologically to cope with that routine of victories.
“Because the routine of victories is very difficult to have and to cope with. It’s easier than the routine of defeats, but it is difficult also to cope with the routine of victories.
“Keeping that consistency and that’s the most difficult time of the process, so we need time. It is always the same story. Some clubs have all the time they want, some managers have all the time they want.
“And some other clubs you want immediately success and with some other managers it’s exactly the same.
“But that’s Man United and that’s Jose Mourinho. No problem.”
It is a challenge Mourinho accepts and has grown used to, saying there has not been a job when he merely needed to add a bit of “salt and pepper” to change the direction.