Jose Mourinho reiterated Manchester United’s “reality” in programme notes that echoed his remarkable recent press conference.

A fortnight on from launching into an impassioned 12-minute explanation of the club’s “heritage”, the Portuguese again underlined the Red Devils’ place in the Premier League pecking order.

Mourinho used his programme notes for Saturday’s match against Swansea to defend his record and point to the future.

“At the start of today there was only one club in front of us and 18 clubs behind us,” he said.

“While in the future, of course, we want all 19 teams to be behind us, the rest of this league has to be dedicated to keeping ourselves in that second place in the table.

“That is our reality.

“It is clear for everyone to see that this club is in a moment of transition.

“In the history of football all around the world, all of the biggest clubs have phases of continuous victories and phases of transition, and these cycles go on.

“Despite this, last season we managed to win two major trophies, including the only competition this club had never won – the Europa League – and we also returned to the Champions League.

“This season, we are through to the semi-final of the FA Cup and our aim, of course, will be to try to win it.

“We are also aiming to qualify for the Champions League again, while moving forward from last season’s sixth-place finish to secure a second-place finish in the Premier League table.

“I think this club is in a good position. We are always looking to the future, and in the future, of course, we want to be the top team in the Premier League.

“That is not realistic this season so, in the meantime, we must do all we can to secure second place.”