Jose Mourinho expects this to be a “very difficult season” for Man Utd, despite believing they are a better, more attractive side. The Red Devils crammed a lot into the start of the 2018-19 campaign, with an opening-day victory against Leicester overshadowed by galling back-to-back defeats to Brighton and Tottenham.
The 3-0 loss to Spurs at Old Trafford represented the heaviest home defeat of Mourinho’s career – a setback that ratcheted up scrutiny and pressure, but one they responded to with a run of three successive away wins in all competitions.
That form has lifted United ahead of Saturday’s clash against Wolves, yet growing optimism is underpinned by the manager’s sustained belief – first uttered in pre-season as transfer frustration grew – that this will be a tough campaign.
“I am optimistic, but a difficult season, yes,” Mourinho said. “For sure a difficult season.
“I don’t change that because we won two matches in the Premier League. A difficult season for sure.
“You see the level of the teams – you see the Liverpool squad, City squad, Chelsea squad, Tottenham squad, Arsenal improving. It’s going to be difficult.
“I am not saying that we are going to have more points than last season because last season we collected a very acceptable number of points.
“But I think we are going to be a better team. We are going to play better than we did, so that’s what we can do.
“But I think it’s going to be a very difficult season, not just for us, also for the others because the others they can say exactly the same as I am saying.
“And they can say, ‘Oh, Manchester United, good team, good squad, City good squad, good team’. All of them, they can say the same thing.
“So, I think if they think the season is going to easy for them, I think they are wrong, but I don’t think they are wrong because they all know the season is going to be difficult.”