MANCHESTER, England -- Jose Mourinho insisted Manchester United are in for a "difficult" season despite kicking off the campaign with a 2-1 win over Leicester at Old Trafford.
And in what looked like another dig at executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, the 55-year-old suggested he is no longer United manager but "head coach."
Victory over Leicester came just 24 hours after Woodward had come up empty-handed on deadline day despite Mourinho's demand for at least one new centre-back.
It lead the Portuguese to vent his feelings after the final whistle at Old Trafford and reiterate his warning for the new season.
"I find myself in the beginning of the Premier League with the market closed in the situation I thought I was not going to be in," he told Sky Sports. "For us, it will be a difficult season because I had my plans for many months.
"That's football management. I think football is changing. Football managers should be called now more head coaches.
"We have big coaching staffs and I think we are more the head coach than the manager. That is the way I think football is going.
"We have to wait for end of November, beginning of December to understand how things are going and if we can fight for the title. Or you believe in the pundits and go with what they say.
"We play against a team that invest more than us. They [Leicester] spent more money than us, so in the Premier League we must get used to teams with players of the same quality that we have.
"Forget the name, the history, the shirt, every match is difficult."
Despite aiming his ire at the United board, Mourinho did have some positive things to say about Paul Pogba, who was captain for the night, scored and put in a man-of-the-match performance after a preseason spanning four days and returning to Carrington on Monday.
Just 26 days after lifting the World Cup with France, the 25-year-old scored an early penalty and dominated the midfield before being replaced after 84 minutes.
"Pogba was a monster," Mourinho said. "Paul was fantastic. His contribution was amazing. We thought a maximum 60 minutes but he managed 80."
"It was not hard [to pick him], the decision belonged to him because Andreas Pereira comes from the Valencia bench as a winger to play No. 6, Fred, 10 days training, Ukrainian league, comes direct to Old Trafford, Ander Herrera injured.
"I had only two options, Scott [McTominay] or Paul, but if I play Scott I play two two kids and a new player, so I asked Paul and he put himself available for the team and he was very, very good for us."
Mourinho also confirmed Pogba had his blessing to take the penalty after what appeared to be a disagreement with Alexis Sanchez.
He added: "The thinking is he is a very good penalty taker and likes the responsibility of it and he is first choice.
"Of course, we have second or third choice in case he is not confident or some reason doesn't want to take it but he was ready and of course he trained lots of penalties during the World Cup because it's something in a competition like that every player trains a lot and he was vert confident.
"[Kasper] Schmeichel is very good on pens but no chance."