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The Portuguese has faced a number of challenges during his time at Old Trafford, but he insists that his passion for the job has never diminished

Jose Mourinho claims to be loving management “more than ever” despite enduring a “difficult” season at Manchester United.

The Portuguese has seen his future at Old Trafford called into question on a regular basis of late, with the Red Devils enduring an inconsistent campaign under his guidance.

Mourinho has never been one to shy away from a challenge, though, and his agent, Jorge Mendes, has publicly stated his client’s full commitment to a high-profile post.

The man himself has sought to steer clear of being dragged into a debate regarding his ongoing presence in Manchester, but he is happy to air his enjoyment of coaching.

Asked by Sky Sports if he still has the passion for demanding roles, Mourinho said: “Yes, more than ever. Because it is more difficult than ever.”

The 2018-19 season is promising to test a proven winner to the fullest, with a frustrating opening leaving United sat sixth in the Premier League table.

Pressed for his take on how things have gone, Mourinho added: “[It has not gone] as good as we thought. But I predicted in the summer that the season was going to be very difficult for us.

“I felt this from the summer, our second position last season was a fantastic achievement, and people thought that because we finished second, the next season you will be in a situation where you are going to try to do better, and to do better than second is to be champion.

“But I thought that the situation was not that, and I thought the second position was really a fantastic season by all of us, and that this season was going to be very, very difficult, because the teams that were behind us, potentially shouldn't be, and on top of that, they had a great improvement in their teams.”

One of those who finished behind United last season but are thriving in the present is Liverpool.

A meeting with the unbeaten Reds is next on the agenda for United, with Mourinho looking forward to testing himself and his side against Jurgen Klopp’s league leaders.

He said of a trip to Anfield: “I enjoy. I always say I enjoy these places. Liverpool is a place where I had difficult times, but also amazing times and amazing victories.

“I love to go there, and totally respect that warm support from the fans to their team, and I like the feeling of the big matches. I was always saying I prefer these matches.”