Sir Alex Ferguson is in no doubt Jose Mourinho will turn things around at Chelsea sooner rather than later.
The Blues manager is back in the spotlight after Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by Bournemouth, with Mourinho now accepting the Premier League champions, down in 14th place and just three points clear of the relegation zoneface a battle to finish in the top four.
Mourinho, who signed a four-year deal until June 2019 in August, received a vote of confidence from owner Roman Abramovich on 5 October, but the team has so far failed to build on a couple of promising performances with four wins and five losses in 11 games since.
Ferguson went head to head with the Portuguese coach during the latter spell of his 27-year tenure at Manchester United.
The Scot has every confidence the former Porto, Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss will come through the most testing spell of his career.
Speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt London event, Ferguson said: “I have been watching Jose recently and spoken to him a couple of times, and this is the first time he has been confronted with non-success. If you look at his whole career there has been nothing but a rise all of the time so, for the first time in his life, he has had to deal with bad publicity, adversity and that is a challenge for him, but there are signs he is getting back to a balanced level although they lost on Saturday.
“I watched the match and they could have won by a few goals, but they lost and then he has still has to face that sort of negative publicity. It is never easy for a manager in present-day football because the media attention is huge. Football today is such a big financial industry, the television deal is [worth] billions, there is the press involvement, there is pressure from their own fans, it is a very high risk industry today.
“The sort of average time a manager lasts now is a year throughout the whole country and that is not a big time. For Jose, I think all good leaders will eventually find a solution I think he will I think he will find a solution and I think you will get back to normal which is not looking great at the moment. But I know the guy and I know the work he has done in football and I can’t see it lasting long, I can’t see it.”
Chelsea travel to Mourinho’s former club Porto on Wednesday for their final Champions League Group G tie.
With Dynamo Kiev expected to beat Maccabi Tel Aviv, a win would see Chelsea advance as group winners and a draw in second. Defeat, though, would see the Blues fall into the Europa League.