Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United are "not happy" at the moment—an assertion he has developed with the assistance of "inside information" from the club.
As reported by Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail Online, Mourinho's comments do little to help relieve scrutiny of David Moyes, who has endured a troubled start to his Old Trafford reign:
My feeling, which is based on years of communicating with Sir Alex (Ferguson) and some inside information, is Man United are not happy, but they are calm.
They trust David. David trusts them. I don’t think David is under pressure. The pressure is something virtual. It is something that comes from the media as a consequence of not having the best results.
Mourinho's comments could be considered the onset of mind games ahead of United's trip to Chelsea on Jan. 19. On the other hand, it may indicate that Ferguson has spoken off the record to the Stamford Bridge boss. The Scot had an excellent relationship with the former Real Madrid man during his managerial days.
Mourinho believes Moyes will turn the club's terrible season around, saying, "the bad results will finish" and "they will get back on track," but he predicts United are unlikely to win the Premier League this year.
Staunch criticism has hampered Moyes' tenure so far, as United currently loiter five points outside an automatic Champions League place.
The team are out of the FA Cup and are trailing after the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg, but they remain in the Champions League. However, the chance of silverware appears to get slimmer with each result this term.
Club captain Nemanja Vidic has defended the under-fire manager and believes a conglomeration of circumstances has contributed to the side's poor form, per David Anderson of Mirror Football:
We had changed our manager, there was a lot of focus in the media on how we would do, and we had a few big derby games to play against Liverpool and Manchester City. We also played Chelsea very early on too.
Our results during that tough start didn't give us the confidence to get going.
As tweeted by OptaJoe, the side's three consecutive defeats since the turn of the year is not something that happens often at the club:
Although Moyes will be pleased to have beaten Swansea 2-0 in United's last game, this United side rarely looks capable of competing against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City for the title.
Despite notching four points against the three title favourites so far, inconsistency and a lack of squad depth is plaguing United's results on a regular basis.
Mourinho's Chelsea side drew 0-0 with United earlier in the season. The Old Trafford clash on Aug. 28, 2013 saw the Blues boss deploy an extremely defensive outlook—something Mourinho is unlikely to replicate when Moyes' men visit West London.
Chelsea can go 12 points ahead of the current champions with a win, thus ending any realistic hope of United retaining the Premier League crown.
If Mourinho's assertion is right, and all is not well inside the club, problems are sure to intensify if United leave Stamford Bridge with their seventh league defeat of the campaign.