Jose Mourinho says the “understanding” and “realistic” Manchester United fans made him fall in love with the club.
Mourinho took over from Louis van Gaal in the summer after the club failed to qualify for the Champions League last season and won his first three Premier League games in charge.
United won just one of seven top-flight games stretching over October and November, but are now within two points of the top four after a six-game winning streak in the Premier League, and Mourinho has paid tribute to the Old Trafford supporters for sticking by him.
“The thing that made me immediately feel deeply about the club and the people, and the desire to work for the people, is the people,” Mourinho told United’s official website.
“The typical Manchester United supporters – the ones that have unbelievable memories of the past, but know the realities of the moment.
“The ones who keep the expectations for the future but understand the road to arrive there and are always supporting the team, even in the bad moments we have had.
“That, for me, is the most significant thing because it’s the thing that makes you fall in love with a new club. I think that’s the thing that touched me more.”
Mourinho was criticised for questioning the bravery of his players earlier in the season, with Luke Shaw reportedly admitting he was “baffled” by his manager’s comments.