Jose Mourinho has dismissed the notion that his impressive second-season record gives Manchester United an advantage in the 2017-18 title race.
The 54-year-old has never failed to win the domestic title in his second season in charge of a club throughout his career, having enjoyed such triumphs at Porto, Inter, Real Madrid and twice with Chelsea.
United have started the campaign in strong form, winning three out of their four Premier League games, and sit top of the table ahead of Sunday's meeting with Everton at Old Trafford.
But Mourinho is not sure his record gives his side an edge this term, telling Sky Sports: "I don't know why people speak of the second season because I won in the first season and I won in the third season. I don't really understand it.
"I just think that the second season is a good season for evolution in relation to the first season because in the first season you arrive and sometimes, like in my case, I was not even able to organise a pre-season because it had already been organised. I couldn't have one single finger of influence on it.
"When I arrived in the first season there was already investments made in buying players, changing the squad, selling players, that you probably would have done in a different way. For sure I would have kept some of the players that were sold, for sure I would not buy some of the players that were bought.
"In the second season, you have your influence at that level. You have better conditions to work and get those results. But you are playing against other teams whose managers are in the third or second or fourth or fifth seasons. So second may not be a big advantage."
Mourinho believes his side are now beginning to reach the level he demands after heavy investment in the close season and a shift in style since his appointment as manager in May 2016.
"At the team level, I am happy," he said.
"I think, after one year, we are a different team. Not just because we are playing in the Champions League, which is the competition for Manchester United, but because in the Premier League we managed a good start which put us initially in the top positions in the table.
"The way we play, the way we think football, the way the fans think, the empathy between the fans and the team, the confidence levels of the players, the footballing level I am happy with what we've done so far."