The Portuguese was missing a host of players for the New Year’s Day win over Everton, including strikers Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with Ashley Young also beginning a three-game suspension to further limit his options.
Only last week Mourinho had admitted it was unlikely there would be any incomings at Old Trafford this month but a stretched squad appears to have altered his stance.
“We will compete always, we competed and we didn’t have I think nine players,” he said. “Nine players were not here. I always say that I like my guys very, very much. We have a fantastic relationship, we give our best, we try to do well always and when we don’t we stick together and fight.
“If somebody comes, welcome, if nobody is coming we are going to fight with the players we have. I had not one more player to select, even Chris Smalling was on the bench but he could only play in an emergency situation.”
United continue to be linked with a host of top players, but luring them away from their clubs midway through the season will be easier said than done.