Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has conceded that he’s still working to instil a winning mentality in some of his players at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have struggled in the three years since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down, as they haven’t come close to winning the Premier League and have missed out on the Champions League in two of those three campaigns.
With Mourinho arriving at the club last summer, the hope was that it would be instantly different, but the Portuguese tactician has faced his obstacles and believes that there is an on-going process with the squad.
United sit in sixth place in the table ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, as they trail league leaders Chelsea by 14 points with 23 games gone, while they are four points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool.
While there are some obvious vulnerabilities and weaknesses in this squad still, Mourinho has also questioned the mental side of things with certain individuals.
“I didn’t know the players very well [when he arrived],” he said, as noted by ESPN FC. “I didn’t know that some players need time to live with this because this must be part of your natural habitat: play to win, responsibility to win, cope with the pressure to win. This is something that has to belong to your natural habitat and for some guys it doesn’t.
“They also need that time to go out of their comfort zone or a zone where they are protected because we assume that the objective is not to win, that also takes time.”
The ‘Special One’ certainly makes some valid points, but it will be down to him to develop that winning mentality and habit which in turn will help transform those players at his disposal into perennial winners.
While his immature post-match interviews and press conferences arguably help no one and reflect badly on the club, there are few other managers in world football who can boast such a successful track record and have faith placed in them to take a giant of the game like United back to the top.