Jose Mourinho insists the challenge of managing Manchester United is one that still excites him despite an inauspicious start to life at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese arrived in Manchester to much fanfare as he replaced Louis van Gaal, who endured a difficult relationship with the United faithful due to his perceived negative style.
United won their opening three Premier League matches of the Mourinho era, but have since managed just one victory in their past seven top-flight outings to leave them eight points off the summit in eighth.
The latest disappointment came in Saturday’s goalless draw at home to Burnley in which United had 37 attempts at goal, with Mourinho sent to the stands after his frustrations boiled over.
Mourinho, who was charged with using “abusive and/or insulting words” by the Football Association, is adamant that his desire has not wilted, though, and his only disappointment is with United’s results.
“Of course I’m excited and I’m not happy with the results, that’s obvious. What I’m happy with is the performances,” Mourinho said ahead of Thursday’s Europa League contest against Fenerbahce.
“Sometimes you win matches, but you feel that can’t last forever because the team is not playing well. But then you have performances where you feel that the results have to arrive sooner rather than later.
“The worst feeling a manager can have is not a bad result, but not to be happy with the players. I don’t have that feeling, I have exactly the opposite.
“After the bad result against Chelsea [a 4-0 defeat], the team reacted in an unbelievable way. The number of shots we had in the last match was something absolutely incredible.
“It’s a good example of what the team tried to have a different result.”
Mourinho, who refused to be drawn on the performance of referee Mark Clattenburg in the Burnley draw, was also reluctant to comment on remarks from Fener boss Dick Advocaat.
The Dutchman backed Mourinho to be a success at Old Trafford, but suggested the former Chelsea manager has yet to find his strongest team.
He added: “I don’t want to comment on other managers’ opinions, even being a person that I respect and admire a lot. Just by principle, I don’t want to comment.”
On facing Fener, who United defeated 4-1 a fortnight ago, Mourinho said: “They were solid for more than half an hour and the game wasn’t easy for us.
“The fact that they’re back to victories is no surprise. The Turkish league is improving all the time, some clubs outside Istanbul are coming to the top and fighting for positions, but I think the three big Istanbul, traditional clubs are very strong, they have very good players and very experienced managers, like Mr Advocaat.”
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