Jose Mourinho has called on his Manchester United players to remain grounded following their perfect start to the Premier League season.
Man United sent a powerful message to the rest of the division by claiming consecutive 4-0 wins over West Ham United and Swansea City in the opening two weeks.
They faced a tougher task against Leicester City at Old Trafford on Saturday but, in contrast to last season, held their nerve and carved out an important 2-0 win.
But Mourinho, in spite of seeing his side sitting at the top of the table, has made it clear that the road ahead remains long.
“We are playing well,” he said. “Probably, in some matches where we are not playing well, probably we are going to be defensive, and if in some matches the opponent is playing better than us we have to be pragmatic, realistic, and defend.”
“But in these three matches we didn’t need that because the team was in good control. But I’m not carried away. Three matches and nine points is good; the 10-0 goal average is good, but it’s only three matches – no more than that.”
Mourinho is right to cast caution into the wind. United were, after all, in the same position last year having beaten AFC Bournemouth, Southampton and Hull City ahead of the international break. Defeat to Manchester City, Feyenoord and Watford soon followed and supporters were brought straight back down to earth in pretty grim fashion.
This time around, however, there is a palpable air of assurance about United that wasn’t present last season. Mourinho’s men entered last season on a wave of transition and insecurity following a tumultuous 2015/16 campaign; they have entered this campaign with confidence and a clear plan.