17 September, 2017
The United manager is insistent that his team's success or failure will not depend exclusively on the form of their main striker, pointing out that they only finished sixth in the Premier League last season despite the contribution of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored 28 goals in all competitions.
The 54-year-old has never failed to win the domestic title in his second season in charge of a club throughout his career, having enjoyed such triumphs at Porto, Inter, Real Madrid and twice with Chelsea.
"I don't think it was my influence, no", said Mourinho.
United have started in fantastic form in Mourinho's second season, now topping both the Premier League and UEFA Champions League Group A. The Reds have scored at least two goals in every game since the start of the league campaign.
I think this Premier League is much more defensive-minded, and much more hard.
As for Everton, from which everyone expects at least a fight at the top of the standings, after the sale Lukaku not only lost the team's top scorer last season, but with it and effectiveness.
"It's not just about the striker", Mourinho said. "It is the most hard country in which to win the title".
"In the second season, you have your influence at that level".
"I think the stadium will show him the respect that he deserves, I hope, before the match and after the match". "We couldn't be happier".
United midfielder Marouane Fellaini clumsily gifted former club Everton the penalty that allowed them to snatch a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park last December - which led to some sections of the Old Trafford faithful jeering him in their next home match. Will he be on the bench on Sunday? No. "I am not going to do that".
It's just being pragmatic and showing common sense.