The former Chelsea captain says his ex-boss will eventually bring success to Manchester United but thinks Mourinho’s side do not have enough natural leaders to challenge for the title this season.
Mourinho was unhappy that he was not able to add another commanding centre-back to his team this summer which has lead to speculation that his relationship with Ed Woodward and other board members is at breaking point.
So far this season United have managed just two wins from their opening four fixtures and sit 10th in the Premier League table.
Yet John Terry still rates Mourinho as one of the greatest managers he has ever worked with.
“After the first session — it only lasted an hour — the lads were in the dressing room and we couldn’t believe what had just happened. Unbelievable. He was clearly something else. It was the intensity of the session, the planning that had gone into it,” the former England captain told the Daily Mail.
“So I went to the analysis guys and asked for a notepad so I could write down what he was doing. From his first pre-season, I’ve got every session mapped out. What we did, how long we did it for, comments from the players. It went from there and I kept doing it.
“He’d be in early, putting out the cones and preparing. It could be raining hard, but he’d still be out there. In a training game, he’d demand full match intensity.”
Terry, though, is not sure that Mourinho’s current side have the necessary character in the dressing room to compete this season.
“At every club he has had big characters and I’m not sure he has that at Manchester United at the moment. At Chelsea, he did.”
Terry revealed that Mourinho was not afraid to challenge his star players if he felt they were letting their standards drop in training – pointing out one particular example that he still remembers well.
“He embarrassed me after one pre-season, after we had won a league title. He stopped the training session, came in, threw down his pad. “If you keep giving the ball away, I will go and buy someone for £50million”.
“I am thinking, “I played every game for you last season! And now you’re trying to humiliate me!” I didn’t understand why he was doing that, but my instinct was to run and give everything; flying into tackles, winning the ball.
“We made eye contact and he grinned. He knew exactly what he was doing — to get the best out of all of us. I have seen him do the same to Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Ashley Cole, Michael Ballack. Big personalities in the dressing room.
“Does he have the same now at United? You have to stand up and turn up at training every day and show him that you want to win at all costs. If you’ve got that, he’s 100 per cent on your side.
“I do think he’ll bring success to United, but it needs patience. My top three for this season will be decided between City, Liverpool and Chelsea. That leaves United and Spurs fighting for fourth.”
Manchester United take on high-flying Watford away in their next game as they look to climb the Premier League table.