Jose Mourinho has likened his task in hand at Manchester United to his tenure at Real Madrid.
United have eight more points after 17 games than they did at this stage last season, Mourinho's first in charge at old Trafford, but they lie second in the Premier League table – 11 points behind Pep Guardiola's record-breaking Manchester City.
Chasing Guardiola is a familiar feeling for Mourinho, who took over at Madrid in 2010 with his counterpart in charge of a dominant Barcelona.
He managed to bring LaLiga glory to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2011-12 - the club's first league triumph in four seasons and one that preceded Guardiola stepping down as Barca boss, pausing a rivalry that has reignited around last weekend's Manchester derby.
United's previous Premier League crown arrived in Alex Ferguson's farewell 2012-13 campaign and, following the underwhelming tenures of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, Mourinho feels he was once again tasked with picking up the pieces.
"I knew that it was not going to be an easy job," said the former Chelsea and Inter boss, whose United deal runs until the end of next season. "I had that experience before.
"You go to clubs with a huge history, where people look to the history and not to the moment and the expectations are high but the job is difficult.
"But I had that experience before in other clubs. When I went to Real Madrid we were in a difficult moment.
"No league title for many years, no cup title for many years, not even a Champions League quarter-final.
"It was good for my development as a manager, which is something [developing] that I always try to do."
United's haul of 38 points would have made them Premier League leaders 12 months ago, not something Mourinho is keen to dwell upon as he accepts City's purple patch of a 15-match winning run in the top-flight going into Saturday's match against Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium.
"We are second," said the Portuguese, who takes his players to West Brom on Sunday.
"With this number of points we would be first in other season, yes, but we are second. This is where we are. Not first, not fit.
"As I was saying, one match at a time. Let's see at the end of the season where we are."
21 de enero 2018
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|Real Betis 0 Barcelona 5: Messi, Suarez rampant as leaders go 11 points clear|
|PSG star Mbappe injured in goalkeeper collision|
|Smith rejects ball tampering talk|
|Monchi: Roma will replace Dzeko|
|Kessie a far better player than I was, claims AC Milan coach Gattuso|
|Neymar to Real Madrid stories manufactured by Spanish press, claims Marquinhos|
|Brady active with taped throwing hand for AFC Championship Game|
|Cagliari 1 AC Milan 2: Kessie at the double in comeback win|
|Watford hire Javi Gracia as Marco Silva successor|
|I am happy with our squad - Pochettino denies Malcom rumours|
|Not much changed - Zidane boosted by clinical Madrid|
|No chance of January move, says Vidal|
|Saracens edge into last eight as Wasps and Ulster miss out|
|Selfie or stitches? Ronaldo bloodied after Madrid brace|
|Heynckes hails Bayern win: This is what sets us apart|
|Southampton 1 Tottenham 1: Kane earns visitors a point|
|Silva assured of chances at AC Milan after latest first-team snub|
|Saracens scrape into Champions Cup last eight|
|Goretzka´s Schalke return marred by abuse|
|Real Madrid 7 Deportivo La Coruna 1: Seven-up for Zidane´s men as Bale shines|
|McIlroy ´in really good shape´ after Abu Dhabi return|
|Muller brings up 100 Bundesliga goals in Bayern win|
|Dimitrov places Kyrgios among tennis´ most talented after Melbourne classic|
|Bayern Munich 4 Werder Bremen 2: Lewandowski & Muller at the double to spare champions´ blushes|
|Do Arsenal or Man Utd get the better deal? Sanchez v Mkhitaryan in Opta numbers|
|Edmund: I can win Australian Open|
|Pele ´fine´ and in ´no pain´ after reported health concerns|
|Dimitrov can go all the way, claims Kyrgios|
|Dominant Wozniacki sets up Suarez Navarro showdown|
|Brilliant back nine sees Fleetwood retain title|
|Surgery pushes Pocock´s Brumbies return back three months|
|No mercenary? Sanchez endorses article defending imminent Man Utd move|
|Allegri expects Buffon to be ´fully recovered´ within a week|
|Atletico Madrid confirm Costa hamstring injury|
|Thisara stars as Sri Lanka stay alive in tri-nation series|
|Atalanta 0 Napoli 1: Mertens ends drought to keep visitors top|
|Nadal through to meet Cilic as Dimitrov downs Kyrgios|
|Dimitrov holds off Kyrgios as wait for home champion goes on|
|Alexis Sanchez boards plane ahead of reported Man United medical|
|Smith not sour over controversial dismissal|
|Buttler the difference for England, says Morgan|
|Hamburg dismiss Gisdol after fourth loss in a row|
|Brilliant Buttler century sets up England series win|
|Melbourne City 5 Adelaide United 0: Budzinksi & Vidosic braces inspire emphatic win|
|Marco Silva sacked by Watford following ´significant deterioration´|
|Nadal promises greater aggression in the last eight|
|Deschamps knows my thoughts - Lucas Hernandez hints at France decision|
|Nadal battles past Schwartzman in Melbourne|
|Wozniacki: I have nothing to lose|
|Impey claims historic Tour Down Under win|
|Rockets end Warriors´ 14-game road winning streak|
|Klopp: Liverpool wouldn´t sell to rivals during season|
|Spence retains IBF welterweight title with TKO of Peterson|
|Wozniacki cruises into Australian Open quarter-finals|
|Giggs keen to help Bale overcome injury woes|
|Harrison key to containing ´monster´ Fournette|
|Klopp in no rush to replace Coutinho|
|Cook leads, Rahm in contention in California|
|Cavaliers booed after abysmal first quarter|
|Titans hire Mike Vrabel as new head coach|
|Brive deny Worcester after stadium swap|
20 de enero 2018
|Malcom dreams of Premier League but remains unsure of future|
|Guardiola sets target of 10 wins to guarantee title|
|Championship Review: Millwall break Leeds hearts in seven-goal stunner as Wolves lose|
|Messi and Pique welcome Coutinho to Barcelona training for first time|
|Thauvin ´very happy´ at Marseille|
|Guardiola salutes ´outstanding´ Manchester City|
|Saracens still not safe, Scarlets battle through|
|Watford still battling relegation from the top half, insists Silva|