The Portuguese manager guided United to Europa League and Carabao Cup success in his first season at the club, before finishing second in a trophyless follow-up campaign.
Mourinho’s reign rapidly nosedived from there as he was sacked just three months into his third campaign at Old Trafford, following a rift with the club’s board over a failure to sign his top targets.
Many doubted Mourinho’s ability to compete at the top after his demise at the Theatre of Dreams but he’s hit back at his critics by guiding Tottenham to the top of the Premier League so far this term.
Mourinho was once considered a guarantee of success but he insists that could have been the case at Old Trafford – if only he was given the time he deserved.
‘In a certain period of my career, with a profile of club I was getting in hands, we didn’t need as much time to reach success,’ said Mourinho.
‘We did it at Porto, Inter, Real [Madrid], Chelsea, both times, we did it without that need of that longevity and also my desire to try different things and my crazy desire to go to many countries, and to try to win it, and try to get different experiences in many different countries, was perfect because was about winning, and goodbye, and let’s try another thing.
‘The first club where I felt I need time and time was not given was at Manchester United, because I felt that I left at the middle of the process, but I learn very early to respect decisions, which I did at United.
‘We did what we did, we did what was possible to do, and we move on. I am happy, they are happy, and we have a great relation, which is something I am very proud always to say, when I leave clubs, I keep very good relationship with everybody, and United is one more example of that.’
Mourinho signed a three-year deal with Spurs last November and the club are likely to be delighted with his progress so far.
The former Porto boss insists he’s happy to stay with the north London club for a ‘long’ time.
‘Now, in Tottenham I know the profile of job I have in hands, and hopefully until now I am enjoying very, very much to be in the club,’ said Mourinho.
‘I believe that the club is happy to work with me, so I see myself staying for a long time, but if we can accelerate the process, like we are accelerating, and being doing good things like we are doing, of course we are not going to waste time.’
The Portuguese coach tasted defeat just a fortnight into his tenure when he left Old Trafford with a 2-1 loss, while the clubs shared a 1-1 draw after Project Restart in July.
However, Mourinho left Old Trafford with a morale-boosting 6-1 win earlier this season against a 10-man United side.