Alex Ferguson warned Jose Mourinho on Monday that football is a high-risk industry, but backed him to find a solution at misfiring Chelsea.
Speaking at an event in London, the former Manchester United manager suggested Mourinho is a good leader but is struggling to come to grips with his first period, including a home defeat to promoted Bournemouth at the weekend, their eighth defeat in 15 Premier League games.
“If you look at his whole career there has been nothing but a rise all of the time so for the first time in his life he has had to deal with bad publicity, adversity and that is a challenge for him,” Ferguson said.
“I watched the match on Saturday and they could have won by a few goals, but they lost,” added Ferguson, who enjoyed great success during his 27-year spell in Manchester.
“Football today is such a big financial industry, the television deal is (worth) billions, there is the press involvement, there is pressure from their own fans, it is a very high risk industry today,” warned the Scot.
“The sort of average time a manager lasts now is a year throughout the whole country and that is not a big time.”
Three Premier League sides, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Sunderland, have changed managers so far this season and while Mourinho signed a new four-year deal in August, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is notoriously impatient.
Ferguson, however, feels Mourinho can dig deep and turn Chelsea’s fortunes around despite their poor form.
“I know the guy and I know the work he has done in football and I can’t see it lasting long, I can’t see it.”
Chelsea face Mourinho’s former club Porto away on Wednesday for their final Champions League Group G tie.
With Dynamo Kiev expected to beat Maccabi Tel Aviv, a victory would see Chelsea advance as group winners and a draw in second.
Defeat, though, would see the Blues fall into the Europa League.