The Red Devils find themselves stuck in a rut, but an under-fire manager is eager to point that he is not the only one responsible for results
Jose Mourinho has pointed out that “sometimes things are not just in the manager’s hands” as his future at Manchester United continues to be called into question.
With pressure having built steadily on the Portuguese over recent weeks, it is now being suggested that a decision has already been made to part with his services.
A Premier League clash with Newcastle on Saturday could be Mourinho’s last, with those in power at Old Trafford reportedly ready to make a change regardless of the result.
United are currently four games without a win in all competitions, with disappointing results having been endured in the English top-flight, Champions League and Carabao Cup.
Mourinho has been forced to shoulder much of the blame for those struggles, but he is refusing to accept sole responsibility, telling reporters: “Sometimes things are not just in the manager’s hands.”
He added on expectations and the need to put performances into perspective after a disappointing summer in the transfer window which saw rivals spend big once more: “Success has a direct relation with your own potential and a direct relation with the potential if your opponents.
“The last season was phenomenal exactly because of these two factors – our potential and the potential of our opponents.
“I think opponents with much more potential than us finished behind us. That is the reason why it was a phenomenal season.”
United finished as runners-up behind record-breaking champions Manchester City in 2017-18 and Mourinho believes that the Red Devils will come good again this term in time.
He added: “This team can do much better than what it is doing and the team will do much better than what it is doing.
“But, if you want me to repeat I will. Last season was a fantastic season for us and if you want something more, in pre-season I also told you that this season would be very difficult.
“I think we have enough potential to be doing better than what we are doing in the Premier League. We are better than this and because of that our situation is going to improve, I have no doubts about that.”
Mourinho feels a corner could be turned against Newcastle, with United going in search of a first victory at Old Trafford since the opening weekend of the season.
“We can win against Newcastle, but it’s a difficult match. We can win, we want to win,” he said.
“We have possibilities to win the match, but I refuse to say we have three points in the pocket. I have to respect an opponent, I have to respect a manager with an history of trophies and know-how.
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“That’s the way I was brought up in life and in football – to respect.”