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Mourinho identifies the key area Man Utd need to improve on

Mourinho wants winners like Roy Keane at Man Utd
Mourinho wants winners like Roy Keane at Man Utd

Manchester United no longer boast the likes of Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Bryan Robson, but Jose Mourinho believes replicating their winning mentality 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 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.

Going into clubs in a "non-easy process" has worked out well in the past, so United's "hard situation" was never likely to put him off.

"It's not the way I prefer, it's just the way it is," Mourinho said.

"This is a moment when I arrive in the club without Scholes and Giggs, and Keane and Robson.

"I arrive later with a very good group of players to work with, but many of them are not the end product.

"They are not ready, ready, ready, and some of them like Michael (Carrick) are in a period where they are phenomenal players but they are not the ones with (ages of) 24 or 25.

"This is a process but I don't change a word from the first day of the season - in this club you must say always 'we want to win'.

"We keep saying 'we want to win' and in this moment we still have four competitions to win and let's see, out of the four, we can win four, three, two, one or nothing."

United are on track in the Europa League and EFL Cup thanks to recent wins against Fenerbahce and Manchester City.

Carrick started both of those matches and has helped United to victory in all five of his appearances this term, with the 35-year-old playing an important role despite his limited playing time.

"It's one thing to be 25, another thing to be 35," Mourinho said. "That's the logic of things, but the only thing I can say is that he's phenomenal. No doubt about it.

"Do I have to manage (his time)? I think I have to.

"I cannot expect from Michael what I can expect from (Marcus) Rashford or (Ander) Herrera in terms of playing three, four, five, seven consecutive matches.

"When he is on the pitch, he gives us important things."