LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed he is targeting a 15-year stay at Old Trafford, telling ESPN he wants to restore the stability of the Alex Ferguson era.
Mourinho, who took over the Premier League giants last year, told the network’s website that he is desperate to deliver sustained success over a long-term period just as Ferguson did over nearly three decades.
United have not won the Premier League title since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, with the club struggling to rediscover its dominance under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.
Mourinho has never spent longer than three years as manager of a club during his trophy-laden career.
But the 54-year-old, speaking as his team prepare to face Manchester City in Houston on Thursday in the latest leg of their US tour, insisted he saw United as a long-term project.
“I am ready for this,” Mourinho told ESPN. “I am ready for the next 15, I would say. Here? Yes, why not?
“I have to admit that it is very difficult because of the pressure around our jobs, 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.
“This club, for so many years, was Sir Alex. People got used to it; people understood the great consequences of that stability.
“After David [Moyes] and Mr. [Louis] Van Gaal, I come to my second year and hopefully I can stay and give that stability that the club wants. I will try, but again, I will have to try to deserve that, but that’s what I try every day that I work.”
Mourinho believes Ferguson’s 27-year reign at United will never be emulated in the modern game.
“I think Sir Alex’s career is unique,” Mourinho said. “I don’t think it is possible to emulate.
“Nobody is going to be in the same club for so many years, be in the same league for so many years. 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.
“But I what I try to do in modern football nowadays is to try to deserve to stay in the club, because in this moment, it is about success. You have success, you stay in the club. You don’t have success, you don’t stay.”
• CHELSEA manager Antonio Conte signed a new two-year deal with the Premier League giants yesterday as the club moved to quell reports of a rift with the Italian.
The deal was confirmed as Conte, who guided Chelsea to the title in his first season last year, prepares to take his squad on a pre-season tour of Asia.
“We worked extremely hard in our first year to achieve something amazing. Now we must work even harder to stay at the top,” he said.