Mourinho: The situation was not so easy when Moyes came to Old Trafford
The Scotsman was fired during his first season in charge after replacing Sir Alex Ferguson in charge of the Old Trafford club, but the current boss feels he had it tough
Jose Mourinho has refused to blame David Moyes for Manchester United's recent difficulties and is adamant the Scot's dismissal from Old Trafford in 2014 does not make him any less of a manager.
Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson as the man in charge in 2013, but the 53-year-old failed to lead United to major silverware and was sacked towards the end of his first season at the club, with Louis van Gaal named as his permanent replacement.
United have struggled ever since, and Mourinho has not had the best of starts to life at Old Trafford, with his side sitting in sixth place - 13 points behind leaders Chelsea.
While the Portuguese insists Moyes, now at Sunderland, is not solely responsible for their current predicament, he admits he had a strong squad at his disposal.
"I do not feel the weight of expectation as a burden. I feel the great history of the club, it has only positive things and not negative things," Mourinho told reporters ahead of Monday's clash with Sunderland.
"If you have conditions to follow that successful history, then that is a different story. One thing is having Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Butt, all these guys at 25 or 26 or 27 years old. Another thing is to have them at 30, 31 or 32.
"Moyes did not have them, and obviously that plays a part, there are generations. In a certain period when probably David came, the situation was not so easy, it was not so easy to go in that winning direction. At the same time, and I think this is even more important, the Premier League was changing.
"I do not know if Moyes faced a bigger challenge than me. I would not mind to be in a club with great expectations but have Ryan Giggs and Chicharito , Vidic at the time and [Patrice] Evra. I would not mind.
"But I think a manager who is not sacked is not a manager, or at least not a good manager. We have to be sacked. I think it was just a bad moment in David's career and he has to do what I did, what we all do, move on, and he did that.
"After Manchester United he went to Spain (Real Sociedad), also a different experience for him, then back to England, back in the Premier League. I think he moved on and this is what we have to do."
The Red Devils are currently on a three-game winning streak in the league, having seemingly recovered from an underwhelming period, but Mourinho feels his side should be higher in the league given their performances.
"I can answer you in many different ways," he said when asked to assess his side's start to the season. "But if, if, if -- and ifs in football are a no -- if we won at home to Stoke, Arsenal, Burnley and West Ham, which we totally deserved to, we would be in this moment second.
"So it doesn't matter, the reflections we do don't matter, the opinions and ideas I give you. The reality is what we are now with eight more points that we totally deserve -- even with the points we lost at home we would be second.
"But in football there are no ifs. We are in a position where this is a reality, we could be closer but we are not and we have lots of things to improve at lots of levels."