Brighton boss Chris Hughton claims that Manchester United still have a special ‘aura’ about them, despite falling on more difficult times in recent seasons.
Since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson five years ago, Manchester United have only finished in the top four once, and have only claimed three trophies in that same period.
Two of those trophies have come under Jose Mourinho, with a possibility of a third being added in next months FA Cup final, and he has also ensured that the club will compete in next season’s Champions League.
While Manchester United haven’t challenged for the title since the legendary Scot retired, Chris Hughton has acknowledged that his Brighton side will face a ‘quality’ Red Devils side when they play each other in tonight’s Friday Night Football at the AmEx.
“I don’t think it is that different under Jose because Manchester United are still winning things,” said Hughton.
“If you are looking at Alex Ferguson’s best times at United, they went through a good few years where they were competing and winning the league, so in that case there has been a few changes.
“But when you play against this Manchester United team they still have the same quality that Manchester United teams have always had, and they still have that same aura.”
The United boss has been criticised for his, at times, negative tactics, but Hughton insists the Portuguese has a “winning mentality” and can adapt his playing style when required.
Mourinho has overseen United’s progress to the FA Cup final where he will be expected to add to his huge collection of trophies both in England and abroad.
“He can’t win what he has won without being tactically astute,” Hughton added.
“The way he sets his team up proves he wants to win and his record shows that.
“He will adapt a style to a performance, so he is very flexible in the way that he wants to play, but he has a winning mentality.”