Jose Mourinho’s mood has improved at Manchester United, with the Portuguese even finding time to joke about his budget for the January transfer window.
A testing campaign at Old Trafford has done little to raise collective spirits, with momentum and positivity often in short supply.
United were, however, to get back to winning ways against Fulham as they eased to a 4-1 victory on home soil.
With spirits lifted, Mourinho cut a content figure afterwards as he entered his post-match press conference.
He was not given the backing he was hoping for over the summer, with only minor tinkering made to his squad, but funds are expected to be made available over the winter.
Mourinho has suggested that cost-cutting exercises are already being put in place, with the absence of a glass of water on his desk leading him to quip: “Are we saving money? No water! Are we saving money for January?!”
United did not look like a side in need of major reconstruction during the first half of their clash with Fulham.
The Red Devils proved far too strong for the rock-bottom Cottagers, with Ashley Young, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku all on target.
Marcus Rashford then got in on the act late on, after Aboubakar Kamara had grabbed a consolation from the spot, with Mourinho’s men now up to sixth in the Premier League.
He was largely impressed with the performance of a team that has struggled for consistency this term, but admits there is still room for improvement.
Mourinho told Sky Sports: “The first half was really good. We gave no chances to Fulham. We were strong, aggressive and intense. At times it was beautiful football. The first half was perfect.
“The second half was [Claudio] Ranieri’s fault. He made two changes that improved his team and gave us problems that we didn’t have in the first half. I also think there was some fatigue in some of my players. A few factors made the second half not as good as the first.
“We were intense without the ball and with the ball. Without the ball we pressed, we kept [Aleksandar] Mitrovic away from the goal. With the ball it was simple, one or two touches. We were really good.
“We needed it. The last three matches we didn’t lose, but didn’t win. Now we have two away matches, then two at home. Let’s see if we can get more points from those matches.
“The players have shown they can be a better team than they are. When there is solidarity in the team, everyone giving their maximum, you attract more positive things.”