Mourinho wants 15 more years at United, but knows it's tough

LONDON • Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said that he wants to stay at Old Trafford for the next 15 years, but admits that the pressures of the job would make such a lengthy tenure difficult.

The Portuguese is in his second term in charge, having led the English Premier League giants to League Cup and Europa League successes in his first season. United are in the United States on tour ahead of a campaign in which the manager has to ensure they challenge for a 21st domestic league title after finishing only sixth last year.

The longest he has stayed at a club was during his first tenure at Chelsea, when he entered a fourth season at the helm in 2007-08.

But he plans to stay far longer at United. "I am ready for this," he told ESPN. "I am ready for the next 15, I would say. Here? Yes, why not?

"But I have to admit that it is very difficult because of the pressure, everybody putting pressure on managers and things that people say - that we have to win - but in reality only one can win and every year it is getting more difficult.

"But what I try to do in the club is show that my work goes further than the football results, that it goes to areas people don't think of as a manager's job."

Prior to his predecessors Louis van Gaal and David Moyes, Alex Ferguson was in charge of United from November 1986 until May 2013, when he retired.

"This club, for so many years, was Sir Alex," Mourinho added. "People got used to it - people understood the great consequences of that stability. I come to my second year and, hopefully, I can stay and give that stability that the club wants."

But he is conscious of how perilous management can be after being sacked by Chelsea in December 2015, having claimed the league title the previous campaign.

And the 54-year-old is aware that he will be under scrutiny again during the upcoming season.

"You have huge success in one year, the next year you don't have success and you are out," he said.

"It happened to me at Chelsea, it happened to (Claudio) Ranieri at Leicester, it will happen to many others. Nowadays, people look much more on the short term.

"I think (Arsenal manager Arsene) Wenger will be the last with a similar story in terms of staying at a club for so many years."

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2017, with the headline 'Mourinho wants 15 more years at United, but knows it's tough'. Print Edition | Subscribe